Tuesday, 26 August 2014

CPF Realities and Alternative Policies (CRAP)

The CPF is being reviewed. Again.

Because people aren't happy with it currently.

What are they unhappy about? Many things. Everything.

Here's a no-brainer prediction: Whatever the review recommends and is implemented, not everyone will be happy.

And it's not just that SOME people might be unhappy. That SOME people might include YOU!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Reactions and Reflections on the 2014 National Day Rally

I can't help but compare with the NDRs of Lee Kuan Yew.

Firstly,  I thought it was sad that time had to be spent during this NDR in explaining the CPF, the minimum sum, and retirement options.

But perhaps it was the zeitgeist - the concern of the day, of the people.

And perhaps it is an indictment of the government's communication of policy.

Secondly, I thought the NDR to be too inward looking.

Again, zeitgeist. And politics, I guess.

But I thought about LKY's rallies, and what would he talk about if he were PM today.

I think he would have chosen to focus on more important things.

What is more important than the concerns of the electorate in a time when PAP is losing votes and being accused of ignoring the concerns of the electorate? Would he focus on "more important things" and risk further antagonising or at least alienating a prickly electorate?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

That "Fishball stick" problem

I was at the bus stop in front of United Square (Thomson Road) recently. There was a shabby, dirty man with a box and and some bags taking up one of the bench seats at the bus stop with his box and bags. He was obviously a vagrant. No one wanted to sit next to him, or even stand close to him.

Suddenly he got up and stepped towards some litter at the back of the bus shelter, scooped it together, picked it up, and brought it to the nearest bin to dispose of it.

He did not call the NEA. Perhaps he did not have a cell phone. He did not call his MP. Perhaps as a vagrant homeless, he does not have any MP representing him. He did not call LTA. Perhaps he did not know the number to call to complain about litter at the bus stop.

He did not have much. Perhaps all his worldly belongings were in that box and the few bags he had with him.

But he had two hands and he had eyes, and when he noticed the litter behind the bus stop, he did not ask, "who's responsible for cleaning up this bus-stop?" but took matters into his own hands (literally!) and cleaned it up.

He did not have much, but perhaps he had a better sense of civic consciousness, a better sense of social responsibility, than me.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Happy 49th. Part 1 - Children and Childhood

Things to be happy about growing up in Singapore.

1 Childhood.

Well, how was your childhood?

49 years is a long time in a person's life. Those born 49 years ago or so, faced a different situation, and a different experience growing up. Children born 10 years ago face a whole different situation.

How to compare?

In my childhood, the longkang was a playground, firecrackers were available, and the whole street/lorong/kampong was our turf. The road in front of my home had a near permanent "pond" of muddy water, drying up occasionally when there was a "drought" and eventually "fixed" when modernity reached our "kampong" and the road was paved/sealed.