Monday, 12 November 2018

Who will replace PM Lee?

The S.I.A. (Short, Irreverent Answer) is "Who cares?"

The Long Polite(r) Answer (L.P.A.) is as follows.

Is there a difference whether Heng Swee Keat, Chan Chun Sing, or Ong Ye Kung becomes PM?

Or for that matter, if Tharman takes over?

Invisible Heroes

Today has A Big Read on Invisible People. This refers to cleaners, security guards, petrol station attendants, and other low-wage workers who are often "invisible" to us.
People simply walk past them without greeting or talking to them, and they are not shown the respect they deserve or treated with dignity.

Long used to being given the cold shoulder, it did not take much coaxing for these low-wage workers to lay bare their suppressed frustrations and unaddressed hurt in interviews with TODAY.
Then I saw a video from the South China Morning Post reported on free drinks for the City's "Supermen" - delivery workers, cleaners, and police officers. This is not exactly a new video - it's about 3 months old. But a friend just shared it. Coincidence?

Friday, 9 November 2018

Being Right and Being Effective

Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that said the world needs to take drastic and unprecedented steps to hold global warming to a moderate but still devastating level. Every country will need to increase their commitment to reduce carbon emissions under the 2015 Paris Accord.

Also recently, Oxfam release their Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index that ranked Singapore very low (in the bottom 10) of countries making efforts to reduce inequality. Note that it does not assess that Singapore has inequality that ranks it at the bottom 10 countries. With a Gini index of 45.9, SG is 35th. US is 39th with a Gini index of 45. Philippines is 44th with 44.4. South Korea is 93rd with 35.7. (The lower the Gini Index, the less inequality.)

The point is not that SG’s inequality score Gini index is anything to crow about. But neither are we the worst. There are 34 countries with more inequality. But yes, we could do better in that. The issue is that the report simply castigates Singapore for not doing enough. And “enough” is defined solely, simply and only by Oxfam. Which to Oxfam means taxing the wealthiest, and giving money to the poor. You know, so that there would be less inequality.

And SPENDING a lot of money on Education. Regardless of whether that spending is having an impact. More on this later.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

How to read the news critically

You could almost hear the breathlessness. "Singapore is one of the 10 worst countries for efforts to reduced inequality"!

Notice the first giveaway in the headlines: It't not that SG is WORST in inequality. That is measured by the Gini Coefficient.

Note that Oxfam's beef with us (geddit? OX-fam? Beef? nemmind) is that we are worst for EFFORTS to reduce inequality.

I would be interested to know if a country with very low inequality, and so therefore would make very little efforts to reduce the already low inequality would fare better or worse than a country with very high actual inequality which has a lot of efforts to redistribute wealth.

Monday, 1 October 2018

A brief comparison of race politics in Malaysia and Singapore:

[A post I started writing in August 2018]

A brief comparison of race politics in Malaysia and Singapore:

Circa 1965 "Malay Malaysia" from KL. "Malaysian Malaysia" from SG/PAP. Singapore evicted from the the Federation.
1970: President Yusof Ishak pass away. There would be no Malay President for Singapore over the next 47 years.
1971: Malaysia implements the New Economic Policy/Bumiputera policy.
1972: Gerakan, a predominantly Chinese political party that won the most seats in Penang, was brought into the Alliance, which later became the Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition of ethnic political parties. BN includes the MCA, MIC, and of course UMNO.

News from Malaysia - Lessons for Singapore

[This post was first written in June 2018. So it's a little dated. So, I've cleaned it up and here it is.]

GST 0%. Sales Tax coming back. And oh, brother can you spare a dime... or RM1trillion?

Riding on the euphoria from the GE, the new govt is asking Malaysians to donate to the Hope Fund.

Things going through my head...

1 - So instead of "Hope and Change", their slogan would be "Hope (you can spare some) change"?

2 - Revoke 6% GST, reintroduce Sales and Service Tax. And ask for donation. Give with the right, take with the left. Or give one drumstick, want a whole chicken in return.

3 - "A fool and is money are soon parted" - after many Singaporeans started pledging (at least on FB) to donate to the Hope fund.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Banning plastic

[This post was started in Oct 2017.]

There is another "environmentally conscious" writer advocating the banning of plastic bags. For the sake of the environment.

This is an example of the green movement not taking its own philosophy. Or rather "socially conscious" Singaporeans not being conscious in all other sense of the word.

"Think Global. Act Local."

From the article: "Today this (restricting the use of plastic bags) has become a global practice to save the environment. "

Oh so it's a "Global practice"? Well we should copy them then so we don't appear backward.