Tuesday, 29 May 2018

High Speed Rail - thoughts on (from Jan 2017)

[This was drafted sometime in Jan 2017 or before, but somehow I never got around to "publishing" it. And now the HST has been scrapped. Maybe. It's Dr M. Who knows?]

I am sceptical about the KL-SG High Speed Rail.

Firstly, it is going to KL.

I know people who like to go to KL.

I know people who like to go to JB.

I am not one of them.

Secondly, it's a joint project with MY.

The same MY that had a Point of Agreement (POA) with SG to move the railway station from Tanjong Pagar. And took more than 10 years to realise what was agreed in the POA.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Beyond SERS - The Decaying Lease Issue

Singapore's 99-year lease HDB flats are a ticking time bomb, politically. 

But the bomb will not go off for another 50 years or so, when the first 7% of flats (about 70,000 flats if there are about 1 million flats) reached the end of their lease, if nothing is done, and the flat owners will have to surrender their flat with NO COMPENSATION.

Which would be political suicide.

Some "common sense" suggests that
"technically, the government should pay" to recover the land your flat is on. After all, even if your COE expires, when you scrap your vehicle, there is still some "compensation" for the scrap value. So shouldn't you get at least some scrap value for your home?



Sunday, 27 May 2018

Primus Inter Pares

It means "First among Equals".

There was a news article on or around 21 Mar 2018, wondering about who the next PM would be. ex-NMPs and NMPs were on a panel.

It was a waste of time. Unless you are a TV programmer, then of course it was your job to fill up the air time. And waste of time or not, it attracted eyeballs.

It was a gossipy, speculative, fluffy programme (from what I gathered reading about it), where the panel members engaged in atas kopitiam talk such as "...part of the difficulty (in identifying a successor) is that none of them have really left a deep enough impression,”

Which show that the panel members are completely divorced from the political reality of Singapore. The question of political succession is not answered by political drama - at least not in Singapore. If they expect the next PM to "stand-out" or "leave a deep impression" they have no idea how Singapore politics work.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Donald Trump's Nobel Peace Prize slips out of his grasp.

In early May 2018, or thereabouts, Donald Trump announced that he will meet with Kim Jung Un for peace talk (well about getting North Korea to "denuclearise" - whatever that means - in exchange for lifting trade and other sanctions and helping North Korea's economy grow). And the talks would be held in Singapore.

The venue had to be a neutral venue where neither side would have "home ground" advantage. Mongolia was the other candidate. Unfortunately, Singapore was picked. The "honour" of hosting a summit between POTUS and Supreme Leader was too much for Singapore to decline.

Friday, 18 May 2018

New Wine in Old Wineskins

How do I feel about the results of Malaysia's GE2018?

As a Singaporean, their politics is their business.

But of course being close neighbours, their politics inevitably will affect SG.

Najib has been good for SG and if that were the sole criteria, we would be quite happy for Najib to stay on.

But there are other considerations. A Malaysia that is not properous is also not good for SG. "Prosper thy neighbour" is a better approach.

The rumours about Najib were just getting too loud and too regular to be dismissed or ignored.

And it was clear that Najib was not good for his country. Even if he were good for SG.

So personally, I am glad to see him go.

If he had managed to hang on one more term, well, the consolation is that SG will at least benefit from it.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Hard times with Malaysia

Immediately after BN's 60+ year unbroken rule of Malaysia was broken, the politically naive started to ask, "is Singapore next?"

In short, no.

At least, not IMHO. I could of course, be proven wrong. This is after all politics. Not rocket science.

The next questions or comments were along the lines of "Singapore/LHL/PAP backed the wrong horse (BN). Now what? What will happen to the RTS, the HSR, and all the other joint projects?" Or, "Dr M is back! Singapore's gonna get it!"

Saturday, 12 May 2018

"You had ONE job!"

Apparently, Mahathir's main task is to survive long enough to pardon Anwar, and for Anwar to stand in a by-election, get elected, and wait for Dr M to... "step down" so Anwar can take over.

BUT... Dr M has a mind of his own, and probably has his own hidden agenda.

He might want to resurrect his "Crooked Bridge" to replace the Causeway. He might want to ensure that his legacy, the Proton lives on as the National car.

And after UMNO has replace Najib, who knows?

So would Dr M step down when Anwar is ready to take over?

That would be interesting to see.

Friday, 11 May 2018

The politics of Tsunami

So Barisan Nasional's (BN) rule has ended.


A "Malay Tsunami" was prodicted. But what emerged was a "Tsunami Rakyat".

I have NO idea what that means connotatively (yes, I know it literally means "citizen's tsunami" or "people's tsunami"). People like to coin phrases and throw them around like it means anything.

And people also like to look at events and wonder, "is it Singapore's turn next?"

Is it?

That's an interesting question!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

This is how you politics

So over the Causeway, the big joke is that Dr Mahathir has decided to come out of retirement to correct his "biggest mistake" - Najib.

Which reminds me of a joke about Najib and Dr M.

Najib and Dr M were in a candy shop. When they left, Najib excitedly told Dr M he had stolen some candy. Dr M asked to see his loot.

Najib brought out of his pocket one bag of M&M, one Kit Kat, and one Mars bar.

"That is what you stole? Put those away and let me show you how it's done."

Najib returned his loot into his pocket and followed Dr M as he walked back into the candy shop.

Dr M went to the shelves and took a bag of M&M, one Kit Kat and one Mars bar. Walking boldly to the cashier, he put the three candies on the counter and asked, "Would you like to see a magic trick?"

The cashier nodded.

Dr M opened the bag of M&M and ate the contents, all the while looking intently into the eyes of the cashier. When he was finished, he ate the Mars bar. And when that was gone, he opened the Kit Kat and had a break. He finished the Kit Kat too.

"Would you like to know where the candies have gone?"

The cashier nodded.

Dr M pointed dramatically at Najib's pocket.

"There! Check his pocket. It's all there!"