Bus Driver Self-Pwn

Low Thia Khiang of the WP: A co-driver is there to slap the driver when he drives off course or when he falls asleep or drives dangerously

Shanmugam of the PAP: Do you really want a co-driver who will be fighting with the driver to take over the wheel and slapping, kicking him? Is this the way forward?

Molly Meek: What, Mr Shanmugam?! You are already anticipating that the co-driver will slap the driver? So you think the driver will fall asleep or drive dangerously?

P.S: No wonder the PAP has always been lauded as an honest and incorruptible party. Molly salutes Mr. Shanmugam for his absolute honesty.


*****

The esteemed Mr. Shanmugam also reminded citizens of their role with regard to the immigration policy.

Shanmugam: If you look at the bus analogy, the people sitting in the bus are the people who have the right to ask for information. They are the ones who should be bringing up what the concerns of the people are.

If they believe that numbers are too large, they have the power to ask for information and then raise it as a specific point during parliament. Was that done? Or is this pure political opportunism?

Molly Meek: Does the power to ask for information equate to the power to get the information being asked for? For instance, does the power to ask for the exact employment statistics of Singapore citizens and PRs without the two groups being lumped together equate to the power to have access to the information?

Does the power to ask come with the power to influence? If not, what’s the point of asking? Imagine 2 Scenarios.

Scenario 1

Passenger: Hey Captain, is the bus going to crash into the tree?

Driver: No, it’s not! Shut up and sit down. Don’t distract me from driving!

Passenger: But it does seem we are going to crash! Drive away from that tree!

Driver: No! Don’t be stupid. You will die if I drive in another direction.

Passenger: Noooo!!!!!! Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

Driver jumps out of bus. Bus crashes. Passenger dies. Bus is damaged beyond repair.

Music of “What a wonderful world” plays in the background.


Scenario 2

Passenger: Hey Captain, is the bus going to crash into the tree?

Driver: No, it’s not! Shut up and sit down. Don’t distract me from driving!

Passenger: But it does seem we are going to crash! Drive away from that tree!

Driver: No! Don’t be stupid. You will die if I drive in another direction.

Passenger: Noooo!!!!!! Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

Co-driver pulls the brake just in time.


Bonus: Scenario 2.1 (Sequel to Scenario 2)

Co-driver pulls the brake.

Driver: What the hell are you doing? Look, now the bus is not moving. We are in a gridlock.

Co-driver: Don’t be stupid. You mean you want to crash into that tree?

Driver: What tree? Don’t fool around.

At this point, the bus turns sentient and ejects the driver. Co-driver takes over.

Music of “What a wonderful world” plays in the background.

6 Dumb Singaporean Election Claims

With the General Election around the corner, members of the electorate who are perfect examples of the PAP government’s immense success in lowering Singapore’s average common sense and logical abilities. Many PAP apologists have internalized PAP myths and are vomiting them out through the ST forum, which is more than willing to stamp its brand name on the vomit on a daily basis. Amongst some of the stubbornly dumb claims related to the General Election are:

1) The Opposition only appears when there’s an election

It is said that the opposition never appears until there’s an election. The implication is that the opposition is only putting up a show before the GE in order to get votes.

Examples: Mrs Elsia Wong and Mr Bahrat Samtani

Why it’s Stupid

Well, it isn’t quite true. And it seems as if those who make this claim want opposition politicians to go round shaking people’s hands on a daily basis so that brainless (one shall not say “brainwashed” since the term presumes the presence of a brain) PAP supporters who are never going to vote for the opposition anyway can experience the joy of seeing them around. Perhaps these voters want opposition politicians to knock on their doors and listen to their individual woes even though the opposition politicians have no means of taking care of their individual troubles and their elected PAP MPs ought to be the ones doing the job.

If the people have obstinately refused to vote opposition politicians into the Parliament, how much can opposition politicians do? For many years already, there are only two opposition MPs in the Parliament. We are talking about opposition politicians who have to work to support themselves after their PAP opponents have been voted into Parliament and some of them have pledged to quit their jobs and devote their time to serving the people if they get voted in because MPs do get an income. If there is to be a comparison, it would only be fair to compare opposition MPs with PAP MPs. But first, opposition politicians need to become MPs.

But it is actually untrue that opposition politicians have done nothing for the people. It is just that the nature of what they are doing is going to be different from what their MPs do. Because they are not MPs. Would Dr. Chee Soon Juan and company get into so much trouble with the law if they have done nothing to speak up for the people?

It seems that there are people who suffer from a bad case of KPI fever which causes them to believe that wayang is paramount. And the KPI here? Show your face so that you can prove that you are “engaging” the people. It doesn’t matter whether you care about the people or if you are indeed engaging them as long as you fulfill the key indicator that says you have done so.


2) The Opposition is being elitist by fielding highly qualified candidates

For a long time, it has often been said that “the opposition is not credible” and unable to attract the talents that the PAP is able to attract. And the PAP’s definition of talent appears to be lawyers, doctors, and high-flying civil servants or military men—people who have been criticized for being elitist. It appears now, however, that the opposition is increasingly attracting highly qualified persons and suddenly the opposition is accused of being elitist as well.

Example: Jason Soon

Why it’s Stupid

No one is saying that highly qualified people are elitist. It is simply that the PAP’s selection of “talents” are usually highly-qualified people for whom the horrifying system created by the PAP gods have worked exceedingly well. (Of course, now there is greater diversity. There new-citizen PAP politicians who haven’t been through the Singapore system. But they, too, are where they are thanks to the Singapore system created by the PAP.) Or PAP politicians might be people selected, based on simplistic assumptions about the common man, because they seem to have the attributes that make them similar to the peasants that the PAP needs to extract votes from. Like a certain Kate Spade spokesperson. She’s young, so young people will vote for her. Her family has a coffeeshop business, so all those coffee shop people will vote for her.

Overheard: “Let’s field a baby next. Will appeal to the millions of people we’ve infantilized.”

The main criticism of the PAP is not that it consists of highly qualified people but that it consists of people who might consider normal Singaporeans lesser mortals who should, as the cliché goes, get out of their elite, uncaring faces instead of whining and whingeing about the high costs of living because they ought to eat fish if chicken is too expensive. Nevertheless, in order to discredit the opposition, the likes of Jason Soon would resort to propagating the stereotype that highly qualified people are “elitist” or, worse, that it is elitist to field qualified people:

For this general election, the PAP has fielded a slate of candidates coming from diverse backgrounds. Isn’t PAP doing what it thought the people wanted – which is to see some representation from people having similar heartland roots?However, it appears that whatever the PAP does, a minority group of the electorate remains dissatisfied, and some PAP candidates were criticised by netizens.

I wonder why the opposition is offering a slate of impressive candidates now, especially after it has persistently labelled the PAP as elitist.

If Jason is right, I suppose the PAP thinks that so-called heartlanders are all like Tin Pei Ling. (And that’s not thinking very highly of us, PAP.) And elitist opposition members surely can’t feel for Singaporeans who are crying in pain because of the escalating cost of living.

3) A gay MP will only take care of the gay community

It has been said that a gay politician will have a “gay agenda” but this is not the most damaging myth that has sprung from the saga generated by Balakrishnan. After all, not everyone can make sense of what a “gay agenda” is or why a political party made up of people who mostly don’t seem to be gay can have a gay agenda. Many Singaporeans also do not care about their MPs sexual orientation because they just want someone who can represent their concerns.

The most nonsensical myth, however, is that if we vote for a politician who happens to be gay, he would just take care of the gay community. You know, he will be able to tell which households in his ward have gay people and will only take care of them. He will know who amongst those who go to him asking for help are gay and will only help them. Because he is gay, he won’t take care of people who are not.

Example: Overheard from a random stranger

Why it’s Stupid

Using the same logic, I’m sure the gay “community” must have been terribly neglected by straight MPs since straight MPs will only take care of the straight community. A Chinese MP will only take care of Chinese people. And I suppose the elderly in Singapore must be very, very well taken care of because we have an octogenarian MP.

But, clearly, a gay person isn’t homosexuality personified. He isn’t pure homosexuality. Surely a gay person can have a diverse range of concerns that can overlap with the concerns of the electorate.

Molly: Better vote in a bimbotic MP to take care of the bimbo community. And a kitten too.

Let’s say you initially wanted to vote for the opposition because you felt that the PAP has screwed up and hasn’t taken care of your interests in the last five years or more. But upon realizing that the opposition team has one gay person, you decide to vote for the PAP because you think the opposition now won’t take care of your interests and will only take care of gay people. What do you end up with? The PAP who won’t take care of your interests. So why not stick with your original decision? After all, you should not assume that gay people will not take care of only gay people. It’s a ridiculous assumption.

Let’s say you initially already wanted to vote for the PAP. You are not voting for the PAP because anyone has any gay agenda or some shit. . . . Eh, why are you even here reading this?!


4) Voters can tell if the PAP government is doing well, so we do not need opposition MPs

The claim can be represented by what Martin Tan says:

WORKERS’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim argues that at least one-third of the parliamentary seats must be in opposition hands to secure a first-rate House (‘PAP ‘trying to confuse voters about WP’s aims”; Sunday).What she is saying is that Singaporeans cannot tell good from bad government and requires the opposition to do so.

The argument also implies that the electorate voted wrongly in the past, which is an ironic counterpoint to her view that Singaporeans are intelligent voters.

Opposition parties must tell Singaporeans why they deserve to be in Parliament. There should be no notion that because we have a dominant ruling party, let’s shoo in some opposition members for balance.

I am heartened by an increased participation by Singaporeans in the political fray. It bodes well for the future of our country. These political discussions must bring us forward as a country and not push us backwards into systems that we are neither prepared for nor perhaps desire.

Why it’s stupid

That’s not what Sylvia Lim is saying. It does not quite matter whether Singaporeans can tell a good government from a bad government. It does not matter how intelligent Singaporean voters are. But assuming that Singaporeans are discerning and intelligent, they have no way of challenging the PAP if it turns out to be a “bad” government unless they have representatives in the Parliament to voice out their concerns. We need people who can influence policies. Which brings us to the next ludicrous claim.

5) Gridlock! Paralysis!

If we have more than 0.000000 opposition MPs in the Parliament, the PAP would have to spend a lot of time fixing the opposition and won’t be able to serve the people well. OK, no. The claim is stupider than this. The claim is that having opposition MPs in the Parliament will prevent policies from being implemented and Singapore will be doomed.

And Martians will seize the opportunity and gain control of Singapore.

“All your reserves is belong to us.”

Why it’s stupid

It is assumed that people really want PAP policies to be implemented smoothly and quickly. Policies such as GST hikes to help the poor. And the Public Order Act. And the Films Act.

No one is saying that with more opposition MPs, the PAP will still be able to implement policies as “efficiently” as it did in the past. But this does not mean that there is going to be parliamentary paralysis. It means that every policy will be examined more closely, from more perspectives. And if certain policies are blocked, there may be good reasons to block them. Who wants a 200% increase in GST to be implemented efficiently even if it’s supposed to help the poor?

There is a confusion between having checks and balances and having a gridlock.

Of course, if we have such a great fear of The Gridlock, one alternative is to have 82 opposition MPs and 5 PAP MPs in the Parliament after May 7. (Note: Sorry, but even in this scenario, we will stilll have Kuan Yew telling us how daft we are. Well, there’s no perfection in this world . . .)


6) The PAP has done a good job

Very often, we hear people telling us, without even thinking, that the PAP has done a good job. And their most probable source: the claim itself.

In other words, we are meeting parrots who deem themselves intelligent and intelligible speakers even though they are only parrots.

If you press them for evidence, they may not be able to say how the PAP has done a good job. Or the only area they may bring up is economic growth. And that’s only because they are looking at statistics simplistically.

Why it’s stupid

The PAP has done a good job?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! If there’s a book of political ironies, this could form the most outstanding chapter.

It has certainly done an excellent job in making it seem as if it has done a good job in governance. It has the mainstream media reporting as though it has done a good job. And it claims to do so. And it doesn’t quite invite anyone to think otherwise. Since everyone seems to say so, it must be true.

And perhaps it is true for those who earn lots of money. But for people who have to deal with stagnant of salaries (or persistent unemployment/under-employment) in the face of an ever-rising cost of living while worrying about retirement and medical costs, the PAP has done a very good job of drowning their voices—precisely with claims that it has performed incredibly well in the area of economics.

If Singaporeans continue subscribing to the belief that the PAP has done a good job, then the PAP will continue doing the same good job it has been doing.

It might even do better. More foreigners to create jobs for us. More GST to help us financially. More ERP gantries to ease traffic jams. More fare hikes to solve bus and taxi problems. More restrictions in expression to promote harmony and social cohesion. More liberal immigration policies to compensate for low birth rates. More work-till-you-drop policies. More CPF withdrawal restrictions. More “affordable” HDB flats. More opacity in governmental spending in events like the YOG. More smear tactics against the opposition during elections. More happy Singaporeans dismissing the validity of your misery.

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Bravado, Blame and Insecurity: Fearfully Alienating Singaporeans

The multiple scare tactics employed by the PAP since the date of the General Election was announced perhaps testify to the deep anxieties of the PAP regarding the Election results. Perhaps my impressions are invalid, but it certainly appears to me that the PAP has virtually given up on telling us how Singaporeans can benefit if it continues to stay in power. In fact, the thrust of the PAP’s campaign thus far seems to be ironically opposition-centered in its very attempt to scare Singaporeans into not voting for the opposition. By accusing the Workers’ Party of wanting to block PAP policies and replace the PAP, the latter is revealing its own fears and projecting them onto Singaporeans. Even though such claims are meant to discredit the WP, they might end up helping the WP gain a reputation as a party that actually can prevent the implementation of PAP policies (many of which are not well-liked because they are pay-and-pay policies with no tangible benefit) and even one that can become the dominant party. (“Block PAP policies? Not a bad idea at all!”)

Apparently giving up on the old tactic of demonizing the Singapore Democratic Party as a party that is being used by foreign powers that have nothing better to do but to undermine Singapore, Balakrishnan has decided to coyly refer to a video and eventually tell us that he thinks the SDP has a gay agenda, ultimately garnering sympathy (and perhaps sympathy votes) for Vincent Wijeysingha. Balakrishnan’s initial claim that the SDP was hiding a video has largely been repudiated, and his allegation that the party is pursuing a gay agenda may not even make sense to the small group of religious conservatives who are afraid of MPs pursuing such an agenda (and this is likely the same group that would vote for the PAP to begin with). What could an MP with a gay agenda do, whatever a gay agenda is supposed to be? Champion for 377A to be repealed? But even PAP MPs are not unanimous about 377A and there are some PAP MPs who are for the repeal of 377A. (Perhaps the PAP has a gay agenda.) Is he going to do nothing else but that and risk losing the support of the electorate in the long run?

Kuan Yew is a key player in the game of winning hearts by scaring people. His speeches and comments get to the heart of the philosophy of the PAP fear vote. His points are typically all-encompassing: freak election results for the PAP is doomsday for Singapore. If I may have the liberty to paraphrase. However, even PAP icon Kuan Yew himself appears to have anxieties about how far the PAP can retain its power. No doubt, many have already seen through the rhetoric he was employing when he urged Singaporeans not to rock the foundations of Singapore. It is nothing new coming from Kuan Yew who has previously bestowed us with vivid catastrophic visions of daft Singaporean women who do not have their spurs stuck on their hide becoming maids in other countries thanks to bad governance (i.e. non-PAP governance). But in an almost tragic fashion, Kuan Yew is also indirectly telling us that the 2011 General Election can be one that leads to changes that the PAP dread; this coming election can be one that rocks the foundations—of the PAP hegemony that has taken years of ISD operations, defamation suits, GRC politics and so on to establish. His anxieties are perhaps seen also in his interview with The Wall Street Journal in which he was quick—too quick—to tell us that the PAP would remain the strongest party after the Elections. (Do he mean that he thinks there might, for once, be other strong parties?) He seems so eager to convey his point that he does not even bother to answer an interview question. (I’m assuming that the ST report has not misrepresented the interview through its editing.)

Wall Street Journal (WSJ): What do you think will be the key issues?

MM Lee: I think we will remain the strongest party. There may be a few seats for the opposition either as constituency or non-constituency members because we have introduced new rules so that up to nine of the best losers from the opposition will be in Parliament, so the opposition’s voice is heard.

At the moment, there are two Members of Parliament from the opposition and only one non-constituency member, but the law has been changed to increase the number of opposition members to at least nine in the next Parliament. [Molly: Key issues???]

WSJ: What do you think the main issues will be for voters in Singapore?
MM Lee: Cost of living, cost of housing for young couples. [. . .]

Or was he in his clearest state of mind when he was being interviewed? Did he know how much sense (or nonsense) he was making during the interview? At first, his answers seem to bear his trademark—he asserts that the PAP government has served the people well and blames the people for being impatient and idealistic. Upon closer examination, however, we might find his rhetoric getting more brittle than ever.

MM Lee: Cost of living, cost of housing for young couples. We are building many new HDB homes but they cost more because they are better designed and more elegant.

But Singaporeans do not like waiting. They blame the immigrants for pushing up prices of the homes. The immigrants who are not citizens cannot buy new flats directly from the government, but they can buy off the open market from owners who want to sell their HDB flats.

So there is some discomfort on this issue. We have got new permanent residents who have entered the market. But our birthrate or fertility rate is 1.16.

We need 2.1 to replace the existing population. 1.16 means we are halving our population. If we do not accept migrants, we will be an ageing and a declining population. It is a trade-off.

But our people feel discomforted seeing about one million foreign workers in our total population of 5.1 million. But most of these are people on two-year work permits, that can be extended but they have to go home eventually. They do the construction and the heavy work.

If we do not have them seen in the trains and on the buses, how are they going to get to their work? If they are not here, who will do this work? They are mostly from China, India and the region.

Our citizens want the best of all worlds. But in real life, we have to make trade-offs.

Kuan Yew’s ideas are certainly cohesive for there are links between his ideas structurally. But I wonder if he is speaking coherently. First he claims that new HDB flats are more expensive because they are better designed and more elegant. (Really, they are that much better designed and that much more elegant?) Then he suddenly tells us that Singaporeans do not like waiting. (Huh? Would we get afforadable flats if we would just wait?) The suggestion seems to be that Singaporeans do not like waiting for new HDB flats and thus are buying resale flats and competing with immigrants; and since there are so many people wanting to buy resale flats, naturally the price goes up. But even if Singaporeans were to wait for new flats, did Kuan Yew not just say that new flats are more expensive thanks to their wonderful architecture? And given that the price of new flats are “discounted” from the market price of resale flats, how would waiting help if the market price keeps going up?

Then Kuan Yew tries to justify the import of immigrants by explaining it as a means to make up for Singaporeans’ low birth rate. Which would have been fine if he had just stopped there. But he continued to tell us that the foreigners Singaporeans are seeing are just in Singapore on work permits and return home eventually. One is then tempted to ask how foreign workers who stay in Singapore for a short while compensate for Singapore’s low birth rate. And if they are meant as substitute Singaporeans, what does the fact (if it’s one) that they are mostly blue collar workers say about Singapore’s economy?

Kuan Yew seems to be trying to pull a fast one on us. Unfortunately for him, he seems also to lack the dexterity of his earlier years in this regard. That the PAP still seems to be depending on him to play a pivotal role in galvanizing supporters does not bode well for the PAP. And if the PAP continues to be the dominant party, it does not bode well for Singaporeans either.

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Man Arrested for Dunnowhat

Molly has always wanted to be a journalist. It’s a glamorous job that allows one to report news objectively and insidiously brainwash people. Today, Molly attempts to write a news report, adapting it from a Straits Times report. Admittedly, Molly isn’t as good as the pros. But here it is, complete with the comments of an editor who loves to hide behind the cloak of anonymity (unlike Molly who so shamelessly proudly provides her full name and impressive vital statistics to the whole world).

*****

Man Arrested for Dunnowhat [Editor: Molly! What sort of dumbass title is this?!] [Molly: One that captures the essence of the news!]

A 32-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly saying that he intends to burn his voting slip and ballot box on Polling Day.

He was arrested for Communicating an Electronic Record Containing Incitements to Violence, under Section 267C of the Penal Code, Chapter 224 as the statement was made online. It is not clear how a statement of personal intention is deemed to amount to an incitement to violence but, if convicted, he can be jailed up to five years or fined, or both.

Police said in a statement on Tuesday that on Monday, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested the Singaporean Chinese in his Ang Mo Kio home, acting on information they had received. It is not known who provided the information. [Editor: Not known? Ask the police! If they don’t divulge the source, then report it as such.]

Investigations [Editor: by who?] showed that he was also believed to have posted a comment which the police said ‘was suggestive of causing hurt to Members of Parliament’. It is not clear if the police sees a distinction between a comment that is ‘suggestive of causing hurt’ and one that incites others to cause hurt. It is not known if it was this comment or the statement of the intention to burn the voting slip and ballot box that led to the man’s arrest. [Editor: Then why did you start the report by saying that a man has been arrested for intending to burn his voting slip and ballot box? Buck up, Molly!] [Molly: Hey, it’s not my fault! The pros do it the same way.]

[Editor: OK, after reading the whole article, I take back what I said about your title.]

*****

Here’s the original report from the Straits Times, complete with Molly’s partisan comments. You can compare Molly’s standard with the ST’s.

Man arrested for saying he wants to burn his voting slip

[That would be a terrible waste of a voting slip. I would rather use it to make a wise vote.]

A 32-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested for saying on the Internet [Shit! Will all the bitchy stuff I have said about the PAP get me into trouble? The Internet is very dangerous.] that he intends to burn his voting slip and ballot box on Polling Day.

Police said in a statement on Tuesday that on Monday, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested the Singaporean Chinese in his Ang Mo Kio home, acting on information they had received. [I’m so glad they are acting on information they have received even though there’s no indication of who gave the information. At least they weren’t acting on some political party’s orders.]

Investigations showed that he was also believed to have posted a comment which the police said ‘was suggestive of causing hurt to Members of Parliament;. [Do I see a punctuation mistake or are my eyes playing tricks on me? Oh, anyway, this comment is reported as something secondary, but can you clarify if he was actually arrested because of this comment?]

The man was arrested for Communicating an Electronic Record Containing Incitements to Violence, under Section 267C of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. Anyone convicted can be jailed up to five years or fined, or both. [I see. I’m praying very hard that telling people not to vote for the PAP isn’t considered inciting violence.]

Police said they took threats of violence to the conduct of the electoral process and threats of violence against people seriously. [This last sentence seems so characteristic of local news. Whenever something like sedition or incitement to violence happens, the news will report the police as taking it seriously. But come to think of it, is there anything that contravenes the law which the police does not take seriously? Isn’t such a line redundant unless you want to send the Phua Chu Kangian message, “Don’t play play,” in a more sombre tone. But I understand the need to report it if the police did indeed say it. Though the question would then be for the police: is there any illegal act that you don’t take seriously or take less seriously? Otherwise, why do you even need to say that you take it seriously?]

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Idiotic Letters to the ST Forum a Worry

Opposition’s scholar candidates a worry

AS AN older citizen, I am uncomfortable about the presence of former government scholarship holders in the opposition. [Is it even relevant here whether you are young or old?]

To me, it seems as if they are abandoning their parents who paid for their excellent education. [WTH?]

Yes, one could argue that these candidates were in fact supported by taxpayers and will now serve all Singaporeans, and not only the People’s Action Party.

But, are they really sincere about helping Singapore achieve a better society by joining the opposition? [Are PAP candidates, whether they are scholars or not, sincere about helping Singaporeans? Are you assuming that if someone joins the PAP, s/he is sincere? What benefits could anyone possibly have by joining the opposition if they were insincere?]

Can they effectively check the Government or will they create more fighting or quarrelling like the parliamentary sessions in Taiwan? [That would not just depend on them, but also on those they are keeping in check.]

Aren’t there enough ways of giving feedback to the Government? [What has giving feedback to the government got to do with having opposition MPs?]

I can contact my Members of Parliament any time; I don’t even have to make an appointment and can e-mail them when I need help. [You do know that even with the some other party in power, you can still give feedback and contact your MPs, don’t you?]

It takes time to know these scholar opposition candidates and I wonder if I should risk the four to five years it will take to know such a candidate’s ability, and compromise national progress. [You can use the same silly reasoning on the PAP’s new candidates too. What makes you think that there is no risk in voting in the same, experienced PAP candidates?]

A better answer for me is not to vote them in for this General Election and see if they continue contributing. [Why would this be a better answer? How do you want them to “contribute” if you do not vote them into the Parliament? And how about die-hard opposition members who have been “contributing” all these years? ]

I would even apply my answer to the Workers’ Party’s star candidate, Mr Chen Show Mao. [??]

I would like to see if he really relocates his family to Singapore, as he has told the press he would, if he fails to win the election. [Well, why should he? You want to deprive him of a chance to contribute and then expect him to come to Singapore and try to “contribute” anyway. How about applying the same test of sincerity on the PAP? Or are opposition politicians expected to be altruistic and self-sacrificing simply because they are opposition politicians?]

A candidate like Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim is too academic [WTF?!] for an average voter like me. She makes good speeches but rarely champions a voter’s bread-and-butter needs. [What? Tell me, how many PAP MPs champion your bread-and-butter needs? Tell me, are bread-and-butter needs the only needs Singaporeans have?]

A good MP to me must not only act as a check on the Government, but also serve the ground and offer effective solutions to the Government. [Eh, ok . . . In your eyes, which potential opposition MP won’t do so?]

I would prefer a few good opposition MPs than many who are merely interested in the glamour of being in the opposition in Parliament. [Since when has it been glamorous being an opposition MP in the Parliament? Well, perhaps you find it glamorous to be ganged up against with fallacious reasoning?]

Ho Lei Gi (Madam)
[Molly Meek (Ms)]

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The PAP’s Unique No. 1 Election Strategy

The dismal quality of political debate and public discourse in general can be attributed primarily to the incumbent ruling party’s reluctance to engage in serious debates, resorting, instead, to hyperbolic ‘denial as rebuttal’ techniques of argumentation and the ‘scaring as persuading’ method of garnering votes. In other parts of the world where societies have not been engineered into shallow naivety (most other places on earth, in other words), the ruling party would be a laughable failure. But in Singapore, the PAP is taken so seriously that the joke is on the people rather than on the party.

Now Mah Bow Tan warns us that existing HDB flats would depreciate in value if the price of HDB flats were, as proposed by the Workers’ Party, to be pegged to the median income. How frightening. I bought my flat for $1 million and if the opposition gets its way, my flat would only be worth $500, 000!

But well, I only have one flat. Even if its value were to go up to $5 million, what could I do? Sell it, get $5 million and be homeless? Or sell it, get $5 million and buy another one for $5 million—or more? On the other hand, to use the PAP’s argumentation techniques, if the PAP gets its way, flats would soon cost $10 million and my children’s ability to buy a flat would be even lower than mine. And my descendants can’t be staying in my current flat forever. It’s ours for 99 years. (Editor’s disclaimer: Figures given are for illustrative purposes and are not necessarily representative of current or projected prices of HDB flats.)

It doesn’t matter to Molly that her fine feline brain is worth billions of dollars or worth two cents. She can’t possibly sell her brain for money because she needs one to stay alive and rant about stupid governments oppressing her. Or if she really wants to sell it, she could sell it and use the money to buy an equivalent brain (which would not be worth the hassle), buy an inferior made-by-PAP brain (which would be a senseless expensive downgrade) or buy a superior brain (which would require more money than she has). But if brains were to be more affordable in general, her adorable litter of kittens would not suffer so much when they grow up to be the good bitchy anti-PAP cats that all respectable cats ought to be.


Picture from icanhascheezburger

Other than his fallacies (or should we say fantasies?) about the value of the ceiling over our heads, Mah also accuses the Workers’ Party of being against the upgrading program: “Why is the WP against upgrading programmes, which enhance the value of Singaporeans’ homes and enable the people to enjoy the fruits of Singapore’s progress? Why does the WP want to push down the value of all existing HDB flats?” In Mah’s world, identifying upgrading is one of various causes of rising HDB flat prices is the same as going against upgrading and all that might appear to be its benefits. I suppose one might find this logical if one is bereft of logic. (In other words, many PAP fans would find it logical.) Mah would do well to read the Workers’ Party Manifesto where it is stated in page 24:

The policy of upgrading older estates and building new flats in mature estates to minimise the movement of population should be continued.

The value of “upgraded” flats is “higher” only when there exists un-upgraded flats from which they can be distinguished. The problem may lie with the execution of upgrading rather than with upgrading itself. Mah could have told us that upgrading is just one of many factors that have caused the rise of housing prices, and it is likely not the most significant factor. But he preferred to try to make Singaporeans fearful of the opposition instead. If there is no demand for the flats or if there is enough supply to meet the demands, the price of upgraded flats would be higher than the price of flats that have not been upgraded, but the prices would not have gone beyond the limits of affordability. But of course Mah won’t tell us this. As it is, upgraded or not, housing has become too expensive. And the PAP’s policy of importing the whole of China and India into the tiny island of Singapore (Editor: Molly’s claim has not been verified. She was drunk with anti-PAP Wrath Vodka when she was writing this) and the fact that not enough flats were built in anticipation of the population increase has caused the price of housing to rise unnecessarily, resulting in people’s inability to afford a flat which is in turn because, again thanks to PAP policies, their wages have to be depressed in order to maintain a competitive edge against those of third world workers.

It is not as if Molly has an issue with increasing the value of her assets even if she has no way of selling them off for tangible cash at the moment. After all, Molly’s irrepressible charms might earn her a free bungalow from a prospective sugar daddy one of these days and she can then sell her flat for a tidy profit and go live in the bungalow. (*Winks at rich male readers. No—all rich readers.) The problem is that Singaporeans’ spending power is not going up in tandem with the price of housing. At least the average Singaporean’s spending poewr isn’t. What this means is that many will be caught in a debt bondage for decades just to afford a PAP-whitewashed ceiling over their wretched heads for 99 pathetic years. Or they can rent flats. But rental prices seem to be aiming for the moon too. Singaporeans should realize that expensive housing is not at all a matter of asset enhancement for Singaporeans. It is through and through a financial burden that can be avoided.

Instead of addressing the issue as it is, Mah and his PAP friends seem to think that they can smoke-fart their way through the elections and beyond, promising to “upgrade and preserve the value of older homes and estates” in their manifesto, which to Molly, is as good as saying, “Expect to continue to be unable to afford HDB flats, bitch!” Singaporeans must not allow this. Of course, they might, given how Mah warns Singaporeans that the WP (and perhaps all opposition parties) have some bizarre conspiracy to “raid” Singapore’s reserves. He refuses to engage in a real debate with the opposition. Or perhaps Mah is confessing to Singaporeans that Singapore has massive reserves because the government has been profitting from the people through public housing. Instead of saying that the WP’s proposal is going to “raid” the reserves, Mah should have said that the WP’s proposal might result in the loss of an easy way of growing the reserves.

When the HDB buys land from the Singapore Land Authority, the chief valuer determines the value of the land. Pardon Molly’s ignorance, but it all sounds like the government decides how much the government pays for the land used to build HDB flats. And perhaps in the instances when the reserves are being depleted but wise, lucrative investments by Temasek Holdings or the GIC, the sale of land at high prices can help to replenish it somewhat. It sounds speculative, but how much transparency is there when it comes to Singapore’s reserves? (How much transparency is there in general?) We do not even have a breakdown of construction costs plus land costs for HDB flats. And this brings us to the importance of demanding change in the government. We need transparency, we need more and better political debate, we need a balance of powers regardless of which political party wins the elections. We have seen the PAP’s impeccable track record in the lack of transparency and how it expects Singaporeans to trust it blindly. We have also seen whether our lives have truly improved or if we have degenerated to a mendicant citizenry perpetually awaiting the next condescending gesture of kindness or handout from the PAP government.

The PAP’s No. 1 election strategy? Secure votes by screwing up the voters’ lives. This is a feat that no other political party in the democratic (or undemocratic) world is capable of. Implement policies that cause housing prices to reach for the skies and tell the people to be grateful and vote for the PAP because it has enhanced the value of their flats. Perhaps it is true after all that our ministers have rare talents what are worth millions of dollars per year.

The least we could do is to tell the PAP a big NO through our votes. The little dignity I have left of being a Singaporean is going to vanish if Singaporeans decide to give the political mandate to the PAP once again on May 7. I should perhaps start organizing a farewell party. If not for my dignity, then for the PAP. Gladly.

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