Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

New Aggregator The Singapore Daily

After the demise of IS, another aggregator blog has appeared - The Singapore Daily. Got "ChioBu" some more. Innovative. Maybe we can finally get an online citizen tabloid heheh. Reading EDMW is getting really tedious.

I'm still stuck in a project, don't think we can meet the deadline. Isn't that how it is always... Will try and write something as soon as I can.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Thoughts On The National Day Rally Speech 2007

I'll leave the praises to the official mouthpieces. Here are my thoughts on some of the changes announced by the PM, and some things I feel the he should have addressed.

Increasing Cost Of Living

One glaring issue that he did not address was the problem of increased cost of living. I was very surprised that he chose to avoid this topic as it is one of the main reasons why the aging population and the less well off are having problems (so much for million dollar salaries). I believe one often overlooked reason why our cost of living has gone up so much recently is our foreign talent and immigration policy. Like Beijing and many other rapidly growing cities straining under the weight of increased population, the influx of foreigners have a direct impact of on the demand and hence the cost of limited resources. One obvious example is the transportation system. Without land to build wider roads and more flyovers, our roads are struggling to cope with the increasing number of cars, buses and taxis needed to move people around. The effect? Bus fares, taxi charges, train ticket prices, ERP gantry charges all go up, typically to cover the costs of tackling increased demand.

Widening Rich Poor Divide

Although the PM has announced a 4th university to bolster opportunities to climb out of the poverty trap, it is a poor substitute for much needed assistance for the less fortunate/well off. Not everybody is made for academic exellence, and adding more degree holders to the workforce could have the net effect of pulling down salaries for this group of workers.

CPF Changes

Adding an extra 1% will not be enough to tackle the cost of living after retirement. Moreover, the majority of our CPF is locked in our houses and will not earn interest. If you have used your CPF to sevice your housing loan and have subsequently sold the property you will know who has to pay for that CPF interest lost while it was locked in the loan. You. And if you can't afford to pay back the interest lost, the amount is written off so effectively you did not earn ANY interest on your CPF, none.

Retirement Age

Increasing the retirement age is not the magic bullet to tackle an aging population. The people who will probably benefit most from this are mainly company executives, managers, doctors, lawyers, accountants etc. That is, the people who are least likely in need of help during old age. The remaining majority of the aged might likely find themselves working for very little pay doing something they might not be interested in. Life is fast approaching the end and the last thing I want to do is something that I am not interested in.

Compulsory Annuity

I don't like to be forced into buying anything and I am aghast that the PM is forcing Singaporeans to buy a financial product from private businesses. These products are sold by private insurance companies for profit and I don't like being forced to enrich the CEO's and Board of Directors of these companies. Some people might like the idea while others might not. But if you make it compulsory that means the people that don't like the idea don't matter. What happened to education and providing options? If I've made it this far in life I probably deserve the right to choose how I spend my money for my remaining years.

Political and Individual Freedom

We have not progressed much in this area since day one and the PM has continued to not live up to his promises made during his inaugural speech as a PM. Freedom gained from the British and Malaysia have been replaced with subtle oppression in the name of national security and economic progress. A recent example here, and what some observers say about our version of democracy.

All in all, it seems to be business as usual in the City of Possibilities.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rock Still Rulez

I think this is a good article about being middle aged. I had a good laugh, I especially like this bit about music:
Young people get genuinely offended when reminded of the cruel fact that, musically, they well and truly missed the party. It must be hard to have your era defined by Duran Duran or Oasis or the Arctic Monkeys. One ought to avoid being too smug about this. Feign an interest. Don’t, whatever you do, make the mistake of introducing them to your playlist. They will discover it for themselves. The only interesting musical development of the past 25 years is hip-hop. Engage with it, it has moments of brilliance. But don’t play it in the car with the windows wound down.


And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all is one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hunting Kids To Save A Few?

Amidst the uproar from the fledgling anime community in response to ODEX's attempt to extort money from kids downloading fansubs aka RIAA a couple years back, I can't help but feel that Big Brother is being used to crush the very children its suppose to protect.

probably sums up the feelings of everybody whose been following the saga.

Why did a judge see fit to force ISP's to release the names of customers on the basis of ODEX's accusations? Who is benefiting and who is being hurt? Instead of sending Cease and Desist letters to these kids, ODEX has gone straight for the bank by demanding money from children.

Aren't laws enacted to protect the weak? Why are we hunting down our children to keep a company, who is obviously struggling to keep up with the times, afloat?

Big Brother watches, but to hunt children just for the sake of a few? Aren't we going a little too far this time?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Singapore 42nd National Day Parade

While we are told to marvel at the grandeur and extravaganza of the coming show put up to mark our separation and reluctant independence, I wonder how much of precious money and resources were consumed to build from scratch a floating platform and spectator stands at the Marina Bay. Aaron says that such rituals are probably necessary in our context and he is probably right. If you look at other more advance countries you will notice that National Day is usually observed privately . Singapore counts itself amongst countries like North Korea and China that celebrates National Day in opulent spectacle bordering on farcical excess. The colourful costumes, precision exercises and dance, military show, all serve to engineer and postulate the perception life, identity, cohesion and strength into an otherwise fragile nation state.

The day when we see no need for such parades is the day we should truly celebrate.

The master when it comes to parades, North Korea

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Young PAP Nicholas Lazarus Rails On Gays

Like I said to Aaron, views like these should never be buried! 35 year old (no, really!) Nicholas Lazarus, a young People's Action Party member, has some pretty strong views on gays. Just in case the charming post is removed, let's put it up for posterity. C'mon Nicky boy, be proud of what you are! Years from now, you'll thank us cos your kids can read about what daddy is really like!

On 28th July, Nicholas Lazarus wrote on the YPAP blog:

Saturday, 28 July 2007
The Alternative Vision for Singapore (and I mean Alternative!)
Posted by Nicholas Lazarus at 12:06 PM

With all this talk about legalizing homosexual acts, I was just pondering what would happen if such acts were indeed legalized.

Imagine men walking hand in hand with other men down Orchard Road, kissing, fondling and making out.

For that matter, imagine all that taking place on the MRT.

Instead of teachers dealing with boy-girl relationships, teachers would have to deal with boy-boy relationships.

Then, you might have the homosexuals all over Asia descending upon Singapore to flaunt what they cannot in their own countries.

Something to think about for the future of Singapore.

More goodies from Nicky boy on 29th July as he spewed more froth when flamed for his piece:
Nicholas Lazarus said...

Leaving aside my religious views on this matter, I am against any change of law/policy on homosexuals because:

1. They threaten the social fabric of the nation. Their ways represent an alternative for which we should not accept as being mainstream.

2. They cannot procreate and thus cannot produce offspring for our nation.

3. They cannot serve as soldiers because instead of serving alongside our men in green, they are more keen to sodomise them.

I do not accept the notion that homosexuals are "creative" and thus we need homosexuals to make our nation more "creative". There is no evidence to suggest that homosexuals are any more or less creative than heterosexuals.

If an analysis is done, they seem to bring more problems than benefits.
29 July 2007 17:17

I can't wait to hear his religious views!