20150512 Ai Takagi, Amos, Roy and the need to remove PAP from government

TRS shutdown reflects a PAP clinging to straws to maintain its grip on power. It’s also making Yaacob Ibrahim look more foolish than ever.

22-year-old Ai Takagi, an Australian law student, is one of the TRS editors. Although she must have known the risk of being arrested in Singapore was high, she accompanied her boyfriend here to visit his hospitalised grandmother. Takagi-san had a choice and she displayed tremendous courage by coming to Singapore. For that, I take my hat off to her.

It doesn’t matter Takagi-san is a foreigner, or even a Martian, so long as the TRS platform serves to air the grievances of Singaporeans. If the mainstream media continue to be PAP’s mouthpiece, another platform will spring up in no time or TRS may be even resurrected. There are 2 ways which will lead to a natural death for TRS:

– the PAP starts listening to citizens and not continue to implement systemic tweaks instead of reforms.
– allow full independence of the media.

PAP should blame itself for creating all the issues which has enabled foreigners to profit from our issues by setting up sites like TRS. By pushing the blame to foreigners, PAP has indicated it will continue to ignore citizens.

Amos Yee has my full support and like most right-minded Singaporeans, I feel disgusted with PAP for continuing to intimidate citizens. How could a short video rant land a 16-year old citizen behind bars for more than 2 weeks?

Amos has put many adult Singaporeans to shame by turning down another bail with onerous conditions. It is rare to find a youth sticking to his principles when most adults would caved in to PAP’s demands to avoid jail time.

PAP has mishandled Amos’s video rant by unnecessarily causing him tremendous emotional and psychological trauma. Only a bully government in a pseudo-democracy would do such a thing to its citizens.

Is there an LKY cult whose followers are easily offended by every negative comment? Whether LKY is a horrible person is subjective and EVERYONE is entitled to his/her opinion.

I have two sons aged 19 and 16 and I fully understand how difficult it is for Amos’s parents. Adults who are critical of Amos and wish for the worst to befall him have probably not been parents to teenagers. What you can do is take a step back and recall how you were like as teenagers. You may then better understand the punishment meted out to Amos is totally disproportionate to his ‘crime’ against a dead person.

The savage attack on Amos is akin to PAP sending its heaviest artillery to kill a lone soldier on the battlefield. Is PAP so insecure without LKY?

If PAP is taking issue with Amos for being disrespectful, what about the thousands of profanity-laced online comments? Shouldn’t Singaporeans who are against Amos also take issue with every individual who dislike LKY? Why are there no police reports made for worse comments on LKY? Why are self-righteous PAP grassroots member ex policeman Lionel de Souza and lawyer Chia Boon Teck quieter than a mouse when Amos was slapped outside our courts? Come on, an ex policeman and a lawyer should know the law right? Or perhaps Amos is 16 and easy to bully?

LKY’s methods of intimidation had worked for him during HIS time. PAP does not seem to be aware that decades have passed and LKY’s archaic methods will no longer work.

On the legal aspects of this issue, I fully agree with Kenneth Jeyaretnam that “The case against Amos Yee proves we have no Rule of Law”.

As for Roy, most of his critics have not grasped the significance of his contributions. Roy has singlehandedly moved the CPF mountain by 20%. Without Roy, PAP would not have allowed a 20% lump sum withdrawal at 65 which means hundreds of millions of dollars will be returned to retirees. This is no mean feat and it is doubtful ANY PAP MP could have achieved.

Since CPF has proven to be an issue, Roy’s critics should have instead question the silence from our highest-paid parliamentarians – why have CPF members been shortchanged for decades? But most can’t because they have not understood how PAP has been failing CPF members** for decades and covering up their blunders through propaganda and perpetual tweaks. Or perhaps it is again easier to align with the powers that be and attack individuals?

In view of PAP’s track record of bankrupting opposition members, it takes a lot of courage to openly criticise PAP’s policies. It says a lot about our scholar civil servant when they have remained silent – PAP knows the CPF scheme is flawed and our scholars would have been embarrassed had they try to engage Roy.

Instead of merely criticising Roy, critics should suggest ways to engage PAP to provide meaningful solutions.

The final issue for this post is the removal of PAP from power because it has continued to prioritise running our country as a corporation over looking after the well being of citizens. To better understand, let’s revisit some of the issues.

It is a fact the PAP controls both the housing demand and supply but it has somehow underestimated construction by tens of thousands of housing units. This has caused housing to become unaffordable and is no ordinary screw up. Can anyone trust PAP when it doesn’t know simple addition?

When citizens complain of overcrowding on public transport, PAP says it will continue to grow the foreigner populationat a slower rate! It’s like saying one cannot become fat by less or it is financially sound to reduce overspending. Policymakers and politicians do not commute by trains and buses and are simply not bothered. Those of us who commute by public transport would have realised there are now peak hours of sorts during weekends and a commuter may mistake Singapore for a third world country. Singaporeans have never argued for zero foreigners but are it total disagreement with PAP’s liberal immigration policy. It is still not listening.

PAP is not interested in the issue of ageing population. If it were, $MRT would not have continue to remove an increasing number of seats. Perhaps we will soon have the first SeatlessMRT?

Will elderly citizens be seating on the train floor soon?

PAP’s focus on corporatisation (profits) has led to improper planning for infrastructure construction eg hospitals. With healthy competition in the private sector, any company employing ‘PAP type’ planning would have closed shop years ago.

If we could just step back and look at issues objectively, their origins are traceable to none other than PAP.

Conclusion

Instead of fixing PAP’s broken systems, PAP continues to devote public resources to fixing an opposition party, TRS, ordinary citizens, bloggers and even a teenager. Right-minded Singaporeans are naturally disgusted with such a government.

PAP is elitist through and through and it has been paying lip service to citizens’ concerns. This is because the problems affecting ordinary Singaporeans do not affect the highest-paid politicians and multimillionaire, part-time PAP MPs.

PAP has remained oblivious to concerned voices and without listening to them, PAP will not be able to resolve our issues. That being the case, such a government would be useless to the people and should to be removed from power.

**
CPF scheme is a failure and this can be confirmed by CPF statistics. Although the PAP has been concealing tons of information, one could still deduce the abject failure of CPF. A simple illustration:

The table below shows the regrossed balances (inclusive of usage for housing, investment, etc) of CPF members. PAP does not want to disclose the embarrassingly low number of CPF members who meet the Minimum Sum balance but we are still able to deduce the percentage from the table below.

Let’s look at the 50 to 55 age bracket.

CPF members’ regrossed balances 31 Dec 2013

1 Out of a total of 201,000 active members, 59,000 have less than $150,000 ie 59,000 CPF members do not have the MS amount.

2 Although there are 142,000 members with balances above $150,000, a large percentage from this group do not have MS. This is because we need to subtract Medisave contribution which is about 20% of total CPF contributions as well asa certain amount for housing. Eg, a member with $200,000 CPF balance, $40,000 would be deducted for Medisave and $50,000 to $100,000 would have been used for housing. (assuming members have fully paid for their housing bought 30 years ago)

To meet the MS of $161,000 in July, a member needs to have an estimated regrossed balance of at least $250,000. The estimated percentage of active CPF members who meet the MS requirement is less than 50%.

CPF balances by age group (active and inactive members)

If we take into account inactive members such as housewives, the percentage of CPF members who meet the MS of $161,000 is probably less than 30%!

This is caused by the mandated low rates and the use of retirement funds to create, and subsequently support, high housing prices. Only after we have understood how PAP has been failing us will we then be able to question the government and insist on reforms, not tweaks.

If the CPF scheme is not flawed, PAP should not conceal all relevant statistics. It should disclose the exact number and percentage of retirees who are not able to meet the MS requirement in cash.

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11 Responses to 20150512 Ai Takagi, Amos, Roy and the need to remove PAP from government

  1. Rizzy Khaos says:

    You’re being too kind to them by calling the system a “pseudo democracy” lets be honest with ourselves, this is an Autocracy in every sense of the word.

    We are not a democratic system, we are fascist, we have a clear ruling class, PAP and the aristocratic investors. theres obvious favoritism going on and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win the next GEs again like how Tony won his presidency.

    • phillip ang says:

      Power is no longer concentrated in the hands of one person as the person is now dead.
      As time passes, an increasing number of Singaporeans will be adversely affected by all the flawed policies implemented by PAP.
      Propaganda may help retain some die hard fans but not potential retirees and retirees with CPF trapped in a black hole. 😦
      A lot will depend on our youths as they are more intelligent and don’t subject themselves to the mainstream media propaganda. Adults can only disseminate so much wisdom and try to undo the damage caused by propaganda.
      If everyone reaches out in whatever way we can, we will be surprised at the results of our efforts. Patience is needed.

      • Rizzy Khaos says:

        I think we need to differentiate the adult from the middle age group.

        Almost every middle aged person over 50 that I’ve spoken to are die hard PAP supporters who grew up when LKY was very influential and think him benevolent for their modern amenities.

        But opinions for people under the 50+ age bracket are starting to wain, I wouldn’t say a majority of us under 40 are sick of the PAP Shenanigans but most of us grew up just as the internet was getting popular.

        It’s basically anyone with internet access and has the ability to see or has been affected by PAP’s hypocrisy and most people in their 50s – 70s haven’t been exposed to it. They’re what I call the PAP generation.

      • Rizzy Khaos says:

        But I still stand by my point about our political system is a fascist, if the next GE, doesn’t remove a significant portion of PAP from Parliament, then I would have to say that my suspicion is confirmed.

        Until then, I hope more of Singaporeans are starting to see the facade of democracy

      • Michael Chua says:

        @Rizzy
        I’m 60 but I must agree with you. When I flew back to Singapore last Oct after being away for 10 yrs, I was appalled that Singaporeans of my age and older are basically brain-dead. They have this fear that even the thought of criticising the PAP, punishment will befall them. That’s how bad the fear factor is. And there are others that completely shut themselves off from what’s happening around them, believing that they will be secured in their little bubble.

        The future of the Nation lies with the younger generation, those that grew up in the internet age. It is this free flow of information that prevented them from being brain-washed by the PAP. Hopefully, there will be enough to form a critical mass to affect change.

      • Xmen says:

        The pace of change is too slow to matter. Conditions in Singapore have been very bad for many years. In a real democracy, PAP would have been voted out of power at least two elections ago. Singaporeans seem to have very high tolerance and a lot of it is due to FEAR and PROPAGANDA.

        I believe PAP will lose some ground but they are very likely to hold on to (super-majority) power. To me, that is completely unacceptable. My only option is to pack up and leave. Many people have done exactly that. I am wondering what the percentage of voters are locally born today. First generation non local born citizens are likely PAP voters.

      • Michael Chua says:

        “I believe PAP will lose some ground but they are very likely to hold on to (super-majority) power.”

        That’s my sentiments too. However, if they lose 2 GRCs, the PAP may take Singaporeans more seriously. Whether it will make a difference in the future is left to be seen. The way things are going now, native Singaporeans will continue to lose their jobs to FTs. Unless something changes, there will be no Singaporeans in 10 yrs time. The class division will be the PAP elites followed by the wealthy and the new peasants will consists of FTs.

        “My only option is to pack up and leave. Many people have done exactly that.”
        I’m one of them. I uprooted my entire family to USA 10 yrs ago. It took us 13 years to get out PR approved. Working backwards, I believe it was sometime in the late 80s that I decided to be a “Quitter”. There were two issues that made me decide to leave. One was when they removed the cap on HDB prices and peg it to private property. I told my wife then that our daughters will need to be millionaires to buy a HDB apartment in the future. And you don’t even own it. It’s a 99 year leasehold. The second issue was when they started to mess around with the CPF. Nobody protested. I told my wife, Singaporeans CPF are gone. It’s like drugs. Once they get their hands on it, they won’t and can’t stop. Easy money.

      • abpap says:

        @Rizzy:
        I am not sure what is your sampling size. I am over 50 and people I know are not pap supporters. My father who is almost 80 is very critical of pap. He and his friends see the hardship their grandchildren are going to face in jobs, housing, security etc.

        For all our sake, we better hope the pap lose the next GE. If not, it is sooner or later before people start taking to the streets. There is always a straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  2. Michael Chua says:

    The Nation is doomed if PAP is not removed from power ASAP. What is happening today is the wholesale replacement of the Singaporean workforce. By flooding the country with FTs, Singaporeans are being marginalised, big time. This is no difference from being invaded by a foreign power. The irony is it is executed by the very people that the citizens voted in as their leaders. If this is not treason, I don’t know what is.

    • phillip ang says:

      We are boiling ourselves alive, so slowly that many are still unaware. I understand the impatience but we, collectively, decide on our survival as a nation or become one huge corporation.
      Each of us can only play a small part in the grand scheme of things and watch nature take its course.

  3. wongcheokwan says:

    We have 6 Institutes of Policy Studies.Hardly any POK SHIH weigh in on the CPF issue.

    Frightening.

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