Thursday, November 19, 2009

How Singapore appreciates a PRC talent who tried to integrate

All the talk about PRC scholars remind me of my classmate in NUS. He was born and bred in China. He had arrived earlier with his parents and attended JC and did well. Unlike the PRC scholars, he spoke decent English and he had no problem mingling with Singaporeans. In fact, he prefers to hangout with us than those fresh from China, even though he is very brilliant and very driven, and that made him more like the PRC scholars than the Singaporean slackers (like me). In fact, he was so brilliant he was the "go to" guy for PRC scholars who needed help with school work.

And, even though he is strictly speaking a first generation PR, he served National Service.

An exemplary foreign talent, don't you think? A model new citizen? And for all the hard work he put in, what did Singapore offer him? Well, Singapore offered to screw him.

Since he was not recruited via "rigorous interviews" held in China, he was not entitled to apply for the PRC scholarship, even though he proved himself worthy by aceing the "A" levels. This is not the case, for example, for ASEAN scholarships. Irregardless of the route you took to enter NUS, as long as you are a non-Singaporean citizen of ASEAN, you can apply for the ASEAN scholarship.

And either because his Singapore citizenship did not arrive fast enough, or because some scholarship boards referred him to the PRC scholarships, he did not manage to get any scholarship at all. I had trouble knowing the details because he was always eye-bulging mad when he talked about it.

This is the stark reality of Singapore. Be a non-committal tourist like Zhang Yuan Yuan and enjoy the best of both worlds, or embrace Singapore and get screwed, like my friend.

He was incredibly bitter about his situation throughout his four years in NUS, and immediately upon graduation, found a great job in US and never returned since.

So, what is the lesson learnt here? Don't be stupid and serve NS, since Singapore will not appreciate it? The biggest benefit of the Singapore citizenship, ironically, is that it allows you to find a job and migrate to developed countries easily?

Honestly, I cannot help but feel that our whole foreign talent policies are being run by people who are not thinking very far.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zaobao: Most PRC scholars are still here. Really?

The Chinese arm of the Good News Times had a big multi-page coverage of the third batch of SM2 PRC scholars - the batch that joined NUS/NTU in 1999, celebrating their 10 glorious and infinitely happy years in Singapore. The key message seem to be "Of the 123 scholars, most of them are still here." This line is so important it was mentioned at least three times, including plastered at the front page, next to the headlines. The article went on to say that most of them are married here and most of them are either PRs or Citizens. (The monumental struggle to get the PR is just finding a job upon graduation.)

The interesting part is that although the article is full of precise numbers, and the scholars even created a commemorative booklet tracking the whereabouts of all 123, after 10 years of joyful and happy and fruitful living in Singapore, the Zaobao "journalist" did not seem the least bit interested to do some counting. What exactly do you mean when you say "most of them are still here"? 51%? 95%? I cannot find any number regarding that anywhere. Just sweeping comments like most, majority etc. To be fair, they did mention one person accepting a job overseas. I'm sure he is the only one, and he does that only after excellent contributions to the Singapore economy that went beyond the value of his scholarship and only worked in jobs that Singaporeans are too stupid to qualify.

For Singaporeans my age, we can still recall the government officials drilling into us that Singapore is a small island with limited resources, so we cannot afford to expand the universities to take in more Singaporeans, and the job market will never be able to absorb all the graduates. I'm not sure what changed, but suddenly Singapore does not have limited means as far as foreigners are concerned, and our job market is now infinitely elastic and can absorb as many foreign scholars as we throw at it, and the reason why Singaporeans cannot make it into university is because we are stupid as shown by our grades and will lower the standard. Well, why don't we subject the brilliant scholars to the same university entrance exams, instead of subjective "rigorous" interviews?

This small island with limited resources that has no money to award scholarship or even university places to local and have to hike fees regularly because local undergrads are consuming a disproportionate portion of the education budget, seems to have a different set of accounts when it comes to foreign students. At the cost of $120k each scholar, full fees covered, $6000 per year spending money, free medical insurance etc, the "journalist" did not think it was necessary to account to the taxpayers how many of those hundred thousands did not deliver on their promise of 3 years of work with a Singapore registered company. Even if this spending is a "proportionate" one, why not raise the length of their obligations every year, like how undergraduate fees must always go up?

Then again, if such scholarships are offered to Singaporeans, who would still take up the PSC scholarships that comes with far more constraints. From the article and from my anecdotal experience, many of the scholars have trouble staying employed. They are magnanimously allowed to take another undergraduate programme (another scholarship?!) or start a company or even suspend their obligations and work overseas. Not the kind of flexibility that local scholars can hope for.

And when it comes to calculating the length of contracts, the article conveniently added in the years of undergraduate study, which is unusual, for when scholarships are mentioned for locals, the study years are never counted. If counted this way, I think the A*STAR scholars would have contracts nearly two decades long.

On another page, PRC secondary school girls point out that they did not get into local schools through the "backdoor", and that they did not need to satisfy local exam requirements because they have passed many rounds of "rigorous" interviews before being granted the scholarship. Well, you tell that to the generations of Singaporeans who were mercilessly denied education opportunities because they failed their English or Mother Tongue exams, but were no less brilliant than the PRC scholars otherwise.

To top it off, some Vice President of the NTUSU with a PRC sounding name "Li Bo" repeated the lie that "at least 80% of the undergraduate places are reserved for Singaporeans". He is calling Minister Gan Kim Yong a liar, since he testified in parliament that there were 4218 foreign undergrads, out of a total population of 14,685 in 2007. That look way more than 20% or perhaps my maths is not so good. Did NUS/NTU drastically cut down the number of foreigners or drastically increased the local intake in two years? I doubt so. Then again, even Minister Gan Kim Yong needed two tries to get the number right.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Goal 2010: I'm sure slow to realising how dead it is

News that New Zealand has gone batshit crazy because they have qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 27 years made me look up how Singapore was doing with our very own Goal 2010. You know, that target set by Goh Chok Tong, who was inspired by then World Cup champions France, fielding a team full of players who, in his own words, "dont look like Frenchmen". He must have went, "Eureka! Flood the Singapore team with foreigners and we will qualify for sure!" Can't say it is not a brilliant strategy. He already wanted to flood Singapore with foreigners then, and he wants some tangible results to shut the mouths of critics.

Besides, foreign players then like Abas Saad had a good reputation, at least with the fans. Despite getting into legal troubles, he is still here after all these years. This is something I wont expect from the likes of Li Jiawei, who is yearning to run even while the money is still flowing.

Apparently Singapore even fielded an ineligible foreigner from PRC. At least he did not run off like the other foreigners. Not that it mattered, since we lost the matches that went on to be forfeited and Singapore failed in the qualification bid a long time ago.

Before someone jump in and use the usual excuse "Singapore has a small population", do realise that Singapore's population has hit 5 million, while New Zealand is just around 4.3 million. At this point, the sycophants will point out that Singaporeans lack the football culture, which is sort of true. While football is without doubt the number one sport in terms of followers, we are a nation of passive football spectators. TV spectators for that matter, as tragic ticket sales at S-League matches does not get as much parliamentary debate as the TV rights to the English football league.

Instead of wasting money on foreigners, can we just put the money to help Singaporeans play football? Like, for example, absorbing the costs to open up football pitches of schools and polytechnics to the public? If Singaporeans have no space to play football, where are the football players going to come from?

And instead of funding S-league teams with barely any identity, S-league should be completely torn down and re-aligned along secondary schools, or clusters of secondary schools. Old secondary school rivalries will keep the interest alive. Just a few weeks back at a company function, I realised that of the very few Singaporeans working in my company, almost everybody were from brand name secondary schools. SJI, RI, ACS. And the old rivalries of these middle aged folks are very much alive. I am sure they would pay good money to see the best alumni players of these secondary schools pit against each other.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Counting the costs of male citizenship posted an article entitled "Your Citizenship is Worth $4,511 More Than a PR Per Year". I'm not sure how $4511 was derived, but a glance shows the calculation is full of errors. For example, almost every single grant mentioned is for children. Depending on how you see it, almost all sums should be divided by two, or even three if you take the child into account. Not to mention, at the "average" of one child per woman, how does one simultaneously enjoy child care subsidy (for preschoolers) and subsidized school fees (for school going kids)?

Even the $30-40k HDB grant does not go to a single citizen. It is the combined grant of two citizens. If you marry a PR or foreigner, or a citizen who is disqualified due to pay or owning private property, you get half of that.

That sum of $4511 is a gross exaggeration. Then again, it does not take into account measures that only the low income citizens enjoy, like Workfare, and one off grants like GST credits, Jobs Credit and HDB Upgrading subsidy.

Don't count the Utilities Save. Foreigners get that too.

But how about the costs of a citizenship vs PR?

How much does it cost a Singaporean man to serve NS?

Can we account just by the loss of salary over two years(or two and half years for old timers like me)?

How about families that are plunged into financial crisis because their sole breadwinner was called up for NS? It is not as rare as most people who had not served NS think. Better yet, administrative screwups resulting into two breadwinners of a poor family being called up at the same time. I know it has happened because I have seen it myself.

I was paid around $200 per month for my 30 months of NS. No 13th month bonus. No CPF. No OT pay. The pay is much more now, but hardly market competitive.

Because it neither tracked inflation nor market rates, those who served NS in the 70s and early 80s were paid much more, relatively.

Why does a country that boasts of first world status and out of this world ministerial salaries persist in paying our national servicemen poorly? If the country has no money to pay our national servicemen, the ministers should consider a pay cut. But no, they believe in paying themselves first. And they sure track market rates closely.

How about care for servicemen who are disabled due to service injuries? Singapore seems to have no system to care for disabled servicemen. MINDEF's attitude seems to be pay a lump sum up front, discharge the servicemen and run away as quickly as they possibly can.

How do you account for the intangibles? The opportunity costs of our two years in our prime? The inconveniences erected when we turn 11 to prevent us from escaping NS? The continued inconveniences as we have to plan our lives around our reservists obligations?

And how do we account for the letter that threatens to suspend our travel "privileges", when we forget to inform to MINDEF before we go overseas? Priceless?

What price, to account for the hostile work environment? My superior officer once threatened to kill me, wanted to slam my head against the wall. That, after yelling at me for half an hour. This is a job I cannot resign from. I cannot even apply for a transfer.

I am sure, knowing that my citizenship is worth $4511 over a PR makes me feel better. Right.

Despite the costs, serving NS is worth it, right? It's all about defending Singapore from an invasion of foreigners, right?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lesser mortals should not hire foreign workers

From No cap to employers' liability for foreign domestic worker's medical bills: MOM,

Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Manpower Ministry, Hawazi Daipi, said: "Employers who make the decision to bring foreign workers in Singapore would bear the cost of their care. Otherwise hospitals will run deficits which are ultimately paid for by the taxpayer."

only to be followed by

On whether part of the foreign maid levy could go towards paying for any excess beyond the maximum liability, MOM said as with other taxes collected, the levy is part of government revenue and not earmarked for specific expenditure.

Who exactly is the taxpayer again? If you call a tax, a levy, it is not a tax any more? So we ignore the upfront cost to the "levy-payers" but fret about the "ultimate" cost to the "taxpayer"?

Translation: I earn a million bucks a year. My helper's medical cost is not likely to bankrupt me. Good luck to the lesser mortals who earn so little. If you have the audacity to hire a foreign domestic worker, then you die is your business. The levy is just compensation for marring the landscape and polluting the air.

We welcome you bringing in high class foreigners though. We even allocated millions to help them "integrate". We love them deep deep, even though their income tax on average is barely more than the FDW levy, but because it is a tax, which is probably earmarked for something, rather than a levy, which is earmarked for nothing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Remember this ex-PR?

While the blogosphere fumes about Zhang Yuan Yuan, I would like to remind readers, the plight of another ex-PR, Ryan Goh. You can read about his story here at It ought to be something inconsequential, a worker fighting for better pay, but the company happen to be one near and dear to the MM, and the union in question happen to be the only one in Singapore not under NTUC control. And so Ryan Goh pays the price for meddling with the wrong union in the wrong company by getting his PR revoked, and worse yet, permanently barred from entering Singapore, which is a death sentence to his career as a pilot in the region.

For a lot of people fuming about Zhang Yuan Yuan, I guess they lack a little understanding on what a Singapore PR really is. There is nothing permanent in PRship. If a PR leaves Singapore for whatever reason, the PRship is subject to renewal upon re-entry. The PRship itself is subject to renewal every 8 years, if I recall correctly. In other words, it is just a longer term employment permit with a glorified name. However, it does comes with almost all citizenship perks, including CPF, subsidised public education, subsidised healthcare, rights to buy HDB flats. Although second generation male PRs are expected to serve National Service, it is optional. The male PR can choose to give up the PRship and leave Singapore for a few years. The male citizen, in contrast, will be placed on a leash from 11 years of age via travel restrictions to prevent him from escaping NS, and the leash gets shorter as he approaches 18. If a citizen still manages to escape and he will become a fugitive, to be arrested upon re-entering Singapore.

In other words, we expect little loyalty from PRs, and in Ryan Goh's case, we offer little loyalty to PRs as well. So the correct thing to be upset about, is not which country PRs pledge their allegiance; after all, they are still citizens of another country. The correct question to ask, is why Singapore offer PRs near citizenship privileges. It is almost as though we do not want them to be citizens, and maybe that is exactly the intention. As Ryan Goh's case shows, it is much easier to fix a troublesome PR than a troublesome citizen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

While Singapore government procrastinates, Singapore runs the risk of serious tensions

I had been speaking up against Singapore's foreign talent policies since the late 90s, starting with NUS forums.

In those days, the foreign talent policies were really felt only by the Engineering and Science faculties and some hostelites, and I was called xenophobe and nazi by people who did not experience it first hand and had no idea what I was talking about.

On graduation, I chose to work in IT, and over the years, I had been at the forefront of the impacts of the foreign talent policies. I continued to speak up, and as usual, the sectors of Singapore that did not see many foreigners, continued to give me labels.

Then suddenly, Singapore's open door policy picked up pace, and the presence of foreigners can now be felt everywhere, and mainstream opinion swings from one extreme to the other overnight.

From early on, I recognised the problem was with the government's foreign talent policy, not the foreigners themselves.

I had been room mate, project mate, co worker, vendor, teacher (in my years teaching in a polytechnic), and now an employer, of foreigners.

I had also seriously considered migration. I recognise the challenges a foreigner faces in a foreign land. I also recognise the value a talented foreigner can bring, not just to the nation as a whole, but also to the company I work for and my own personal well being.

The problem is with Singapore government's bipolar schizophrenic policies. You cannot use two rulebooks for two groups of people living in the same country, and not expect to have problems.

If Singapore desires to attract foreigner to stay here long term and eventually become citizens, then it is a no-brainer to believe that the best foreign talent policy has to start with a good citizenship policy.

But yet there are too many sacred cows in Singapore's citizenship policies that Singapore would rather choose to piss off both Singaporeans and foreigners than to address seriously.

1) National Service

The Prime Minister recognises that imposing NS on new citizens will scare them away. Well, imposing NS on the children of new citizens and PR will also scare them away. If foreigners are spared the unpleasantness of NS, why impose it on Singaporeans? Does Singapore really need a massive conscript army? If we have no choice but to stick with NS, then I think it is only logical that those who serve NS should be entitled to significant privileges. In Israel for example, Israeli citizens of Arab descent are exempt from military service, but many choose to do so or they will have significant difficulties with their job hunting. Some would no doubt say this amounts to discrimination against the foreigners, and it is a tough choice to make. But left as it is, we have to tolerate NS discriminating against citizens and potentially harm a citizen's employment opportunities. As long as the Singapore government shy away from this tough decision, the citizens will resent the foreigners. The foreigners will feel the resentment, and for them, staying put long term in Singapore will never be attractive, not to mention the NS liabilities they will bring on their sons.

2) Education subsidies

At every fee hike in the local universities, one of the usual justification is that undergraduates unfairly consume a disproportionate share of the Education budget. That's a fair statement, until you encounter the foreigners who are 100% subsidized, given a living allowance and are given privileged admission to local hostels.
Are they not enjoying an even more disproportionate share of the education budget? Clearly, there are two rules being applied. Tough choices to be made, but the Education Ministry prefers to bury their head in the sand.

3) Employer CPF

If Employer CPF contribution is such a good thing, then everybody should enjoy it. If it is bad for foreigners, it must be bad for citizens too. So why do we exempt some foreigners from "enjoying" the employer's CPF? Why do we create a system that makes Singaporeans more costly to hire and retain?

4) Subsidised healthcare?

Subsidised healthcare in Singapore is a saddening joke. Take a look at the B2 wards, the most subsidised wards in public hospitals. They are not free, and you may have to be put through means testing to qualify for a bed.

It is almost as though the hospitals went out of their way to design an experience as painful as possible to the patients, presumably for unfairly consuming an excessive portion of the healthcare budget. Not only are beds constantly in shortage, no air-conditioning (with dubious cost savings to partition out a non-airconditioned wards in an otherwise fully air conditioned hospital) and worse yet, deliberately limiting the attention the patients can receive from doctors and nurses, to better be "fair" customers in the A wards who pay more. This is not subsidised healthcare. It is substandard healthcare. Would foreigners envy citizens for this "privilege"? I doubt so.

5) Overcrowding

The Singapore government has uncharacteristically mismanaged the overcrowding situation. The number of foreigners Singapore brings in is in precise control of the government, and yet it has failed to ensure there is adequate transport and housing for the new immigrants. The transport end can be partially explained by the Nicoll Highway collapse that delayed significantly the completion of the Circle Line. But more importantly, the vestiges of the rules barring Singapore bus services from competing with the rail services (to guarantee the viability of SMRT) still exists. Worse still, both bus companies also operate rail services, which will prevent them from seriously competing against rail services. LTA needs to seriously buck up and stop procrastinating from making tough decisions, and stop the fake competition between SBS and SMRT.

6) Singapore's treatment of migrant workers

It is an understatement to stay that we can treat the migrant workers a lot better. (I define migrant workers as the category of workers who attract a foreign worker levy). Unfortunately, the Ministry of Manpower turns a blind eye to the near abusive conditions the migrant workers are made to live in. One would think that after collecting the hefty foreign worker levy, the Manpower Ministry should do a lot more to ensure that the migrant workers have proper shelter, transport, wages get paid on time, and in general, not be easy targets for scams. When we tolerate such abuses, not only do our souls die a little, but think about the strata of Singaporeans who have to compete for jobs with the migrant workers who gets paid little, transported like cargo and live in crammed quarters. And I'm sure for some migrant workers, they are always hungrier than Singaporean. As in starving hungry. When we tolerate bad treatment for the migrant workers, Singaporeans get hurt too. Who wants to hire Singaporeans when there are truckloads of migrant workers who can be kicked around?

For foreigners, Singapore citizenship is totally unattractive, and Singapore will always be a stepping stone. Unless we choose to create a new citizenship class that permanently exempts them and their descendants from the unattractive aspects of Singapore citizenship, only those with no choice elsewhere will want to stay. Singapore will become a dirt trap of foreigners, keeping the scum while the best will move on.

As for Singaporeans, most can tolerate the situation now... as long as we have a job. But if citizen unemployment rises significantly or if wages fail to keep pace with the costs of living rocketing up due to resource competition with foreigners, I fear the unease with foreigners will turn into full blown irrational anger and start directing that anger at foreigners, and it is not going to do anybody any good.

Remember, the racial riots of Singapore's yesteryears were also conflicts between locals and new immigrants.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Foreign worker levy is a fine

I have just received a letter informing me that I have to raise insurance coverage for my domestic helper. In principle, it is a good thing. I always saw it as a privilege to hire a live-in helper at a low rate, and I always find ways to pay more to my helper whenever I can afford it. I especially do not mind paying more for my helper's insurance, and I am glad I do not have to fret if I should give my helper a day off without making her wear a chastity belt. You see, the Singapore government, in their infinite wisdom, has decided it is no longer necessary to fine employers $5000 if their domestic helper get pregnant. I have no idea what employers do to be in compliance previously. Chastity belts, birth control pills or abortion pills? As a Catholic hiring a Catholic, my only option is chastity belt, but these stuff are kind of hard to acquire in a otherwise unbarbaric Singapore.

No longer needing to find a chastity belt, I have the free time to wonder about another barbaric rule by the Singapore government: the foreigner work and domestic worker levy. Why do we have to pay $170 (or more) levy a month to hire a domestic worker? To protect Singaporean workers? I am not sure how many Singaporeans compete for jobs with workers whose income attracts the foreign worker levy, but if the objective is to protect Singaporean workers, then it would only be logical to apply it to ALL foreigners, not just the lowest income workers? Why impose a tax against foreigners who do not compete with Singaporeans while giving a free pass to foreigners who do compete with Singaporeans?

Maybe it is an income tax then? At these rates, the taxes on the lowest income workers are easily around 35%, and are probably the steepest taxes imposed worldwide on the lowest income. On the one hand, Singapore is in danger of being a tax haven for the rich, but yet singles out the poor for high taxes. If we did not know Singapore government to be whiter than white, we would mistakenly think they are a reverse Robin Hood, robbing the poor to give to the rich.

For the steep taxes, one would expect some serious government services for such foreign workers. Then why do I have to pay for my helper's medical insurance and 6 monthly health inspection fee. She cannot make use of the services of our polyclinics. And if the worker absconds, would the government help? No. If the worker dies, would the government foot the costs to transport the body back home? No! The employer has to cover that. The government offers absolutely no services for the levied foreign worker, whatsoever, except for the privilege to work in Singapore.

So the logical conclusion is that it is a fine. It is a crime to hire someone who fails to qualify a higher work permit, and you get fined monthly.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

So Singtel wins the BPL rights

After losing the BBC channels, and apparently lacklustre take up of their Football Frenzy package, Singtel was forced to make a decision on the viability of mioTV. Instead of cutting loss, they have decided to double down and take the fight to Starhub.

Instead of letting Starhub win the bid at their threshold of pain, Singtel probably bid so high that they are going to bleed seriously for at least a year as they have to keep prices low enough to get customers to switch.

But a giant like Singtel can afford to bleed, for years, and it is the right strategy for a corporate giant to corner the market. After all, neither MDA nor the Competition Commission seem to care. When Starhub becomes a marginalised player like M1, Singtel will be free to charge as they please.

Whoever wins, the Singaporean consumer loses. MDA CEO will still collect his million dollar pay cheque.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Did you know? 4.0

Singapore is mentioned.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Singaporeans are fed, up with progress!

According to a paper by Stephen J. Appold entitled Singaporean University Graduates in the New Century: Over-educated but Under-skilled?
dated 24 July 2004, the median monthly income in Singapore is supposed to look like this:

1980 1990 2000
Overall $441 $1,204 $2,382
University graduates $2,175 $3,857 $4,827

Does that look like progress? It depends on what you are measuring against. Say, one plate of fried kway teow moved from about $1 to $2 from 1980 to 2000. Since income more than doubled in the same period, if you measure your well being on the affordability of eating fried kway teow, congratulations, because Singapore is making fine progress!

But being a ungrateful young Singaporean blogger, I am supposed to be able to find fault in the most flawless government in the world, and I try not to disappoint.

My father bought a 4 room flat in 1980 for $28,000. He paid in cash. No loan, no CPF. Today, identical flats in the same block are selling for over $310,000, despite running down 29 years of the 99 years lease. That's an inflation of over 10 times in 29 years.

Using the 4 room flat affordability as inflation adjustment, the median income graduate in 2009, who would earn roughly $6000 according to, is equivalent to someone who earned $600 in 1980, better than the non-graduate in 1980, but nowhere close to the graduates in 1980.

Therefore, as far as certain items are concerned, much of the "progress" in recent years has more to do with young families ramping up debt levels to keep up with the appearance of "middle income" rather than actual income increases resulting in better affordability.

It is also no wonder that double graduate income families do not seem to feel more financially secure than single non-graduate income families in 1980.

But let's focus on the number of plates of kway teows we can eat instead of depressing things. Especially if you are a property owning baby boomer who earns more from property price appreciation than your salary. Or if you are a senior civil servant or cabinet minister, whose pay is very well adjusted for inflation.

Good luck to young Singaporeans who do not own property. If this trend continues, in a few years time, it would be a highfalutin' idea for fresh school leavers to own lease 3 room flats.

Majullah Singapura!

The title was shamelessly stolen from the Today article that got mrbrown in trouble.

TED talk-Hans Rosling: Let my dataset change your mindset

Singapore featured prominently. PAP would love this.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Low Thia Khiang is a disappointment

News this morning tells of a landslide win for the Japanese opposition party, which leads me to think about the possibility of a PAP defeat at the polls in Singapore. Then I thought about who would be our new Prime Minister... there is only one likely candidate, but forget about it. Low Thia Khiang is not PM material.

It took me some time to catch up with NMP Viswa Sadasivan's speech in parliament, and I struggled to find anything incendiary. While the Minister Mentor seemed to have grossly overreacted, one has to remember that he is haunted by his long legacy of "pragmatism". Generals are always fighting the last war, and this old general still sees the world through 1950s lenses.

What is genuinely disappointing is Low Thia Khiang's response. At first sign of trouble, he chooses to wash his hands clean. The Pledge should not be brought up in parliamentary debates? Then when should the Pledge be used? In political rallies like he did during the last General Election? How many times have we seen him in parliament, on the verge of asking really piercing questions, only to back away at the last minute? I think he has done an excellent job in Hougang, *if* he thinks his role is just that of a very well paid village elder.

But as an opposition MP in the parliament, he has only done his job with only occasional brilliance, and even then, with great reluctance. Instead, we have to rely on PAP MPs like Tan Soo Khoon to play the role of opposition in the parliament.

If ever Singapore has a freak election, I seriously doubt he will even want to try to be Singapore's PM. I think he will wash his hands as quickly as he did with NMP Viswa's speech, and declare he will have nothing to do with it.

Despite widespread panning of PM Lee's electoral reforms to expand the number of Non Constituency MPs (NCMP), I think it is a constructive and necessary step.

We need new faces at work in parliament to give the electorate options, even if they have to start as powerless NMPs and NCMPs. (After watching Ling How Doong at work in parliament, who will want him to run a town council again?)

If we have to choose between the insipid and disinterested like Mr Low and Mr Chiam See Tong, or radical liberals like the SDP, it simply makes Singaporean democracy a bigger and more frustrating joke than it needs to be.

PS I am not related to any political party and will probably spoil my vote if I am forced to vote today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Singtel: Singapore's impotent corporate giant

According to this article dated 8th June 2009, Starhub gently twisted BBC's arm last year, and BBC yielded immediately.

Singtel, can you at least be an honest eunuch and dont con subscribers into signing up two year deals with mioTV only to enjoy what they want for only three months? You already knew since LAST YEAR. It's one thing to cheat adults, it's quite another to cheat preschoolers.

Singtel, with your level of competency, why don't you just give up the whole mioTV business? It's inevitable you will be squeezed out, so why make Singaporeans suffer while you live in denial? Waiting for the regulator to intervene and save you from the abusive monopolist?

MDA is too busy funding businesses selling things nobody wants. And rapping, apparently.

Although only just announced, the decision to move from mio TV, which has around 53,000 subscribers, is believed to have been taken up to a year ago.BBC Entertainment's future on StarHub TV looked to be in jeopardy when the channel was omitted from StarHub TV's repackaging at the end of May 2008.

Mid-July 2008 saw the matter resolved and the following explanation issued jointly: "StarHub and BBC Worldwide Channels were finalising terms for the continued carriage of BBC Entertainment on StarHub Digital Cable. Negotiations have recently concluded, and we are pleased to inform viewers in Singapore that BBC Entertainment will continue to be carried by StarHub and is presently available as part of the Lifestyle Basic Upsize Group."

It is thought that BBC Worldwide Channels' commitment to bring BBC Lifestyle, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies to StarHub TV upon the expiration of the two-year exclusive deal with SingTel mioTV may have contributed to ensuring BBC Entertainment's future with StarHub.

Monday, August 03, 2009

I owe Professor Thio an apology

Before my discussions with Fox, I had not directly seen or read Professor's Thio presentation in parliament, having only heard from second hand sources about her "flawed logic", which I assumed is of the same category as whybegay or SoloBear. Now that I have seen it for myself, I have to say I find nothing objectionable in what she said. She did not use the Bible to justify anything, and engaged a secular law in secular terms. She correctly predicted that homosexuals will infiltrate mainstream human rights organisations like AWARE, and try to impose the gay agenda onto our school system. I should have known better than to trust Singapore's "alternative media" to be objective. See it for yourself. She puts forth good arguments. No wonder the Gay Lobby is so terrified of her.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Christians beware: Offend the Gay Lobby at your own peril

The Gay Lobby will not hesitate to abuse humans, in the name of human rights. Free speech is permitted, only when we say what the Gays want to hear.

Nuance, a so-called memo and threats ...
05:55 AM Jul 27, 2009
Letter from Professor Thio Li-ann

I WRITE to clarify a few points in "Former NMP calls off professorship at NYU"(July 24).

First, the online petition asserting I was an "opponent of human rights" over-simplistically assumes "gay rights are human rights".

Certain countries legally recognise the controversial idea of "gay rights", but this is not a universally accepted human right. Further, the idea of "gay rights" may cover anything from prohibiting workplace discrimination (which I support) to same-sex marriage (which I oppose).

Nuance is needed; simplification is sensationalistic.

Can a capitalist teach Marxism? Could someone who supports the death penalty (which many at New York University disagree with) teach human rights?

There is no settled theory of the source of human rights; many competing interpretations exist. There are core (prohibiting torture) and contested (same-sex marriage, euthanasia) rights.

Second, no 18-page rebuttal was sent to the NYU law faculty. I do not know who posted the so-called "18-point memo" circulating online. This was an internal email I wrote in response to a non-law NYU staffer's email copied to the Dean (who made no response) and others, strongly criticising my appointment.

This was just one of the hostile, often vulgar messages I received, some insulting my intellect, gender, ethnicity and country.

I sought to clarify misrepresentations and rebut potentially defamatory allegations made to personnel involved in the Global Faculty programme which invited my visit.

It is disappointing the NYU law dean would label my response "offensive" and "hurtful", while ignoring the offensive, hurtful and even threatening messages directed against me.

To say I was "disappointed by the hostility" minimises the virulence of the attacks I received. A cursory glance at the invective online explains why many friends worried for my safety.

An American NYU alumnus wrote to the NYU law dean (copied to me), saying he had the impression the dean was "not troubled by the kind of atmosphere" that I was "expected to endure" had I decided to teach at NYU.

Some NYU faculty, staff and students also sent supportive emails; a gay New Yorker apologised for the bullying tactics of certain activists who did not represent him.

Academic freedom dissipates in a hostile environment - by this I do not mean mere viewpoint disputation. Why prejudicially assume I would create "an unwelcoming atmosphere" in class, as opposed to politicking students or frosty faculty members?

Why assume I would not permit free discussion when it is "political correctness" which chills free debate? An email from a Harvard law graduate noted of this affair: "Things just got a little bit darker down at NYU."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

MDA encourages Starhub to screw preschoolers

Many years ago, I used to be a happy cable TV subscriber with Starhub. I loved the soccer coverage. Then the soccer subscription charges became ridiculous, so I thought, I opt out. But I still subscribe to cable TV because my son loved Disney Playhouse. Then one fine day, scrolling words on the TV told me that I will no longer get Disney Playhouse on my analogue set top box, and I must pay two bucks RANSOM a month just to watch that same channel. It was right at this time Singtel mioTV jumped into my lap, and although it took some getting used to I think CBeebies is better than Disney Playhouse.

With nothing left to interest me on Starhub, I returned the set top box and bid them saynonara. 18 months into mioTV, I thought, everything's working out fine. It's time for some commitment to take advantage of the discounts, so here I signed up a two year contract with Singtel for mioTV.

Three months into the contract, another set of scrolling words says CBeebies will no longer be offered on mioTV. I subscribe to mioTV for CBeebies and CBeebies alone. What I am going to do with the remaining 21 months of contract? If I want to pay up the RANSOM, it is going to cost me at least 25 bucks a month MORE to get that ONE CHANNEL on Starhub.
EDIT: I'm so behind times. Minimum ransom to get CBeebies on StarHub is THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS. I'm sure some of it will go into MDA CEO's bonus.

Yes, this is clearly an abuse of monopolistic power by Starhub. I'm pissed with Singtel for letting this happen. Whatever happened to the clout of this powerful regional company? If it was BBC that screwed them, why dont they show some fangs? Singtel built the reputation of CBeebies from zero to a reasonable popularity. In fact, one could even say it was subzero, since the only programme I have heard of prior to signing up was Teletubbies, and that alone nearly convinced me not to touch CBeebies with a hundred foot long pole. But feeling blackmailed by Starhub prodded me forward.

Oh, I see how they are going to screw BBC, by offering TWO NEW BBC Channels that Starhub is not interested to carry. That will teach BBC a lesson. I'm sure there is no possibility that a few months into these new channels, they too will get popular and move to Starhub and leave mioTV subscribers high and dry.

But the people I am most bloody pissed with are the idiots from the Media Destruction Authority. You guys are supposed to set the rules of the game. The players are having drunken orgies on the pitch. What do you do? Hire external consultants to make decisions so no blame can be directed at you?

It's one thing to blackmail football fans. It's quite another to screw preschoolers, and their parents. MDA is so profoundly stupid and incompetent, it is no wonder they produced crap like this:

I dont know what is MDA's KPI, but it seems to have nothing to do with the needs of Singaporean pay TV subscribers.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

MDA, brainless and spineless?

My father and I are soccer fans, but we had not been subscribing to any cable football channel for many years now, because I refuse to pay the exorbitant and endlessly increasing subscription fees. But I do not blame StarHub. I blame MDA.

Why? I dont have the exact figures, but going by the quoted fees for the exclusive rights to the Barclays Premier League (BPL), divided by the subscription fees, by my guesstimate, is a very large proportion of StarHub's total subscribers. In other words, to secure the exclusive rights, StarHub is bidding near breakeven level. In other other words, dear football subscribers, even though it is costly, StarHub is really not making much money from you. In all likelihood, non-BPL football viewers are probably subsidising the BPL football viewers.

Anybody who knows some introductory economics would know that in a state of perfect free competition, the profit goes to zero. The stakes of cable tv in Singapore is higher. Most StarHub cableTV subscribers are in it for BPL and BPL alone. If Singtel beats StarHub to the BPL exclusive rights, StarHub CableTV will cease to be a viable entity with collateral damage to StarHub's commoditized businesses in mobile, IDD and broadband business. Therefore, Singtel will always try to force StarHub to bid at their threshold of pain, but let StarHub win it. That way, StarHub will continue to operate a profitless business that will continue to drain StarHub's ability to expand aggressively in other businesses. Notice you still cannot buy the iPhone from StarHub, despite suggestions that it would be available, late LAST year. And soccer fans will direct all their hate at StarHub. Wonderful win, win situation for Singtel.

It was not too long ago when soccer fans can watch free, live matches on free-to-air channel, SportsCity. But now that the football clubs are demanding more TV money, we know that this advertising supported will not work any more. But a large part of the subscription costs now is due to the bidding war between Singtel and StarHub, and it has been going on for years. What has MDA done all these years, other than sitting on their hands? Nothing much, except endless talk about how MDA is observing the situation. Oh, and finally, they "commissioned" some consultants to study the "competition issues". What kind of regulator needs third party "consultants" to tell them what they should do? They ought to be the experts and they should take the lead, instead of passing the buck to the consultants to whom blame can be shifted if things go wrong. If they want to act like taichi bureaucrats, then they should be paid like taichi bureaucrats, instead of acting and benefiting like they are some private sector employees with nice titles like CEO and matching perks.

So enough panning, here's my constructive suggestions:

1) Ban Singtel from bidding for football rights. Singtel wants to build their mioTV business, and is able to use their sheer size to directly and indirectly subsidize their BPL bid. Barring them will take the heat off StarHub and give them room to negotiate.

2) Stop pretending StarHub and Singtel are not Singapore state owned enterprises. Pretending to compete when it comes to overseas contracts only hurts the Singapore market. MDA as the regulator should knock their bloody heads together if they cannot learn to work together for the interests of Singapore. The very least MDA could do, is to make the telcos pledge not to bid for exclusive rights. Better yet, let ESPN win the rights and run the shows, and work out some deal beneficial for mutual survival, eg Manchester United exclusivity for StarHub and Liverpool exclusivity for Singtel, except when the two teams play against each other.

3) Give up trying to nurture the S-League. mioTV dropped in my lap and I had access to Italian Serie A for free. The match I skimmed through, was the one that featured David Beckham. Forcing people to watch S League, which is not even close to being second best by entertainment values, by intentionally making BPL watching expensive will not work.

MDA studying competition issues

I THANK Mr Tan Chak Lim for his letter on Monday, ''Managed' football telecast rights benefit consumers, content providers', and Mr Lim Phei Kiat for his letter on Wednesday, 'Subscribers paying too much for pay TV football'.

We note football viewers' concerns on higher subscription costs and having to subscribe to both SingTel and StarHub for different sports content.

Thus, late last year, we commissioned a study on competition issues in convergent media and telecoms markets. Both SingTel and StarHub were among the industry players interviewed by the appointed consultants in the course of the study.

The issues are multifaceted and include commercial agreements for broadcast of sports events, foreign content owners' rights, and Singapore's obligations to abide by international conventions that protect such rights.

We are pleased to update that this study is ongoing and various options are being explored. The Media Development Authority seeks the patience and understanding of TV viewers, and will update the public on the results of the review at an appropriate juncture.

Eileen Ang (Ms)
Head (Competition & Market Access)
Development Policy
Media Development Authority

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Good riddance, Siew Kum Hong

This morning brings the good news of Siew Kum Hong and his gay faction rejected from the parliament, and partially restores my confidence with the government.

As a Catholic in Singapore, I cannot say I have much love for the government. The Marxist Conspiracy/Operation Spectrum was a malicious and dishonest smear, and as far as I am concerned, directed at Catholics in Singapore. As the government never found the courage to set the record straight, there is not much reconciliation to speak of. For a Christian to speak up politically, one has to hide his/her Christian identity, or will risk having all sorts of accusations of thought crimes hurled at he or she.

As much as I disagree with Thio Li Ann, I feel she has a right to speak up without being accused of the crime of being a Christian. Somehow, the self-styled liberals in Singapore do not have any concept of this.

In stark contrast, the gays in Singapore, often comparing themselves with Jews under Hitler, suffer far less constrains. When was the last time anybody got in trouble with the law for peacefully advocating gay rights?

With this AWARE scandal, I have learnt that the liberals in Singapore, unfortunately, had been tainted by PAP rule. They may talk about human rights and freedom of speech, but are not the least interested in defending the rights of people who disagree with them. They have chosen to fight the devil by being a bigger devil.

While the AWARE takeover was orchestrated by just a few non-representative Christians, the entire of Christianity was attacked. While some of these are due to atheists taking advantage of the situation, the "liberals" seem to revel in the attention, and sent the lynching mob to organize boycotts of the employers of Josie, charging their opponents with frivolous thought crimes and intruding on their privacy, and acting like hooligans at the AWARE EGM.

If these "liberals" are put in government, I have little doubt that they will be even more ruthless in persecuting dissenters than the current government.

From what I have seen of Singaporebloodypore, TheOnlineCitizen, TheWayangParty and Singapore Democrats, I find it hard to feel safe to vote for the Worker's Party or SDP. Unless these parties clearly show that they are not hijacked by anti-christian liberals, I fear I may find myself forced into crossing the PAP box in the next election.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Open letter to the Prime Minister from an anonymous Singaporean:

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing as a concerned Singaporean and a mother to request official scrutiny into press reporting of the AWARE saga.

I'll share my first-person observations at the AWARE EGM in relation to Straits Times coverage of the event.

1) My 18-year-old daughter and I went to the AWARE EGM on Saturday, 2 May 2009, to observe the proceedings of a civil organisation but the progression of events left us with much disquiet.

a) We noticed a large contingent of men upon entering the meeting hall as we were directed to the "overflow area" in Hall 403 where we sat in the front portion (we were among the last 200 to enter at 2.50pm after queuing from 1.30pm). The men formed about a quarter of the meeting, occupying seats in the back half of the 'overflow'. My daughter observed that this was a meeting for a women's association and was surprised at the substantial male turn-out. I reserved my comments.

b)We were accosted by ear-deafening 'boos' and jeers as we passed the section, but realised that they were not directed at us as much as at the speaker onstage. We were quite unable to hear the opening speech being given by Ms Josie Lau, then President of AWARE, as the heckling went on unabated in tenor and base. In fact, the aggression was so vehement that my daughter was in tears from the sense of intimidation and oppression, even though the hooliganism was not directed at us.

c) It could be clearly observed that a number of men in the front of the section were attired in white 'We are AWARE' t-shirts or pink tops.

d)There were also more than 20 foreign men and women in their midst.

e)Then as the meeting progressed, more than half of them moved to stand with and around the 'old guard' of AWARE, and at the floor speakers' area, continuing to disrupt the proceedings despite calls for order.

e) What really flabbergasted us was that soon some of these associate members with no voting rights took the stand to proudly declare their homosexual status to loud applause from the 'old guard' camp as they spoke in support of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education programme. In fact, it was impossible for ordinary members like me to try to ask any questions on the floor (as I tried to queue up to do so) as the 'old guard' with half of them men effectively 'barricading' the area and monopolising the microphones in a raucous commotion.

We came away from the whole event rather disillusioned by AWARE and what it professed to stand for. They may still be helping women, marginalised or needy, but they are also involved in the political agenda of some minority groups, even with covert foreign interference.

2) I'm also surprised and deeply troubled that the reporting in The Straits Times has not been honest in presenting the full picture to the public, especially concerned parents following the AWARE saga. There was a concerted effort by both the press and TV coverage not to mention the significant presence of the homosexual community. If I had not been there, I would never have known the truth.

a) In fact, I witnessed the main reporter responsible for blowing up the whole AWARE story (Wong Kim Hoh) hobnobbing with the homosexual fraternity at the EGM.

b) Some members of the press and TV were candidly jubilant as they celebrated the passing of the 'no confidence' vote by punching their fists in the air and hugging the 'old guard' they were standing with.

c) In the sweep of fervent support, the constitutional amendments were also made to allow men and foreign

women full voting rights (in a local women's association that makes the CEDAW report on the state of women in Singapore). In the perspective that such an amendment was thrown out in the previous AGM, the motives may be called into question. The press made no mention of this important development.

I question the cover-up in the press.

In review of newspaper coverage of AWARE developments, I'm also beginning to think that press focus on the sensitive issue of religious involvement was but a calculated red herring thrown out to manipulate public sentiments.

Sir, I am pleading for the authorities to look into this matter as I am becoming increasingly alarmed that minority groups with a political agenda may not have just reached its grasp into a vulnerable women's group, and through it attempt to distort our children's views on sexuality, but has actually infiltrated the press to block out news and prevent the public from accessing the truth. I actually feel frightened that the press in Singapore can attempt to shape my views as it wishes by misinformation or partial information.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Who is neutral, really?

Over the weekend, there is more coverage on the AWARE gay advocacy scandal, and Dana Lam, interviewed in Zaobao, the Singapore Chinese daily is totally unapologetic about AWARE's gay advocacy in the MOE CSE. Even Marthia Lee backpedalled a little by saying the CSE instructor manual had been a little careless in the wording, while Dana Lam continues to rubbish the whole idea that there was any tinge of gay advocacy in AWARE's CSE.

And this Channel News Asia "journalist" Pearl Forss, who was seen cheering emotionally at the announcement of the voting outcome of the AWARE EGM, inserts another pro-AWARE old guard mantra into her "report" of the MOE press release regarding sex education, that,

"Homosexuality is seen as neutral in the AWARE CSE."

It is clearly her insertion because no other reports I have seen has that statement. She is clearly showing her pro-old guard bias by repeating that mantra.

And from what source did they get that mantra from? Apparently, they think they have collected a "slip" from their favourite smearing target, Thio Su Mien.

The problem is

1) Thio Su Mien is an extremist and does not represent me. I'm sure a lot of parents angry about the AWARE CSE would agree with me.

2) Pro-gay extremists tries to draw parallels between them and the civil rights movements in the US or the Jewish Holocaust, as though we segregate our beaches according to sexual orientation or round up gays in concentration camps, which cannot be further from the truth. Singapore has been very tolerant of gays. But to them anything short of gay pride parades and anal sex clinics in secondary schools would probably be seen as "neutral".

3) Like the pro-gay extremists, people like Thio Su Mien believes there is no middle ground. To her, being neutral about homosexuality is probably enough reason to burn in hell.
Getting Thio Su Mein to say the AWARE CSE is neutral means nothing.

Anybody who read the instructor's manual for AWARE CSE knows that it is far from being neutral with words like "Homosexuality is perfectly normal".

If the AWARE CSE is seen as neutral, there will not be any controversy.

AWARE as unrepentant and extreme as it is, should be permanently banned from access to all public services, not just MOE.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To fight the gay activists is to be anti-science?

One of the favourite argument of the gay activists is to smear dissenters to be anti-science, flat earth, creationist types. This is obviously an underhand bullying tactic.

Science does not have any conclusive opinion on homosexuality. And even if it does, one can never rule out that it merely a fad that may not stand the test of time.

Take lobotomy fro example. It used to be an accepted scientific method for treating schizophrenia in the early 20th century. Even the sister of John F Kennedy underwent the treatment. Let me describe one specific type of lobotomy: "transorbital lobotomy"

it involved lifting the upper eyelid and placing the point of a thin surgical instrument (often called an orbitoclast or leucotome, although quite different from the wire loop leucotome described above) under the eyelid and against the top of the eyesocket. A hammer or mallet was then used to drive the leucotome through the thin layer of bone and into the brain. The leucotome was then moved from side to side, toto sever the nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus.

Does it make your stomach turn? I like to think I am a man of science, but even when science is cock sure, it can be dead wrong. If a Christian were to speak up against lobotomy in that era, one can be rest assured that he or she will be attacked as an anti-science flat earth creationist. If you believe in God, then you should trust God to have placed the spark of enlightenment in your heart, in your conscience. Using the Bible to fight Science is a losing proposition. God gave us a big brain for a reason, and it is intellectual laziness to revert to the Bible when we fight what we know in how heart, is barbarism.

The Gay Strawman

Gay advocates, smarting from their defeat after their gay agenda was exposed by the scandal that is the AWARE CSE, are resorting to strawman arguments to defend their lies.

It goes along this: People who oppose the supposedly neutral AWARE CSE are influenced by their American Christian Right. The American Christian Right advocates homophobia and abstinence-only sex education, faith based conversion of gays etc etc, which are faulty in one way or another. Ergo, parents who complain about the AWARE CSE must also have the same faulty reasonings, as well as imposing religious fundamentalists views on the secular society.

First of all, it will take quite a tool to think the AWARE CSE is neutral. Why was the instructor's manual confidential? If the manuals were shown to the principals, do you think any principal will greenlight their gay agenda?

Second, of the thousands who complained, there are plenty of Buddhists, Muslims and free thinkers. To assume all these Singaporean parents who would otherwise be slimed as apathetic to be influenced by American Christian Right gives a little too much credit to the American Christian Right.

Remember, Thio/Josie could barely find any support outside their church, or the ex-new team wouldnt have looked half as silly.

Third, I have yet to see any group emerge to collectively represent the viewpoints of any significant group of the outraged parents. Only MOE knows exactly the composition of each parental complain. To assume the parents pursue the exact same agenda like that pursued by the Christian Right, for eg abstinence only education or hostility to gays is simply disingenuous if not downright dishonest.

As usual, it is just part and parcel of the dirty tricks the gay activists use to censor dissent.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

No Escape: Male Rape in US prisons

I've been sentenced for a D.U.I. offense. My 3rd one. When I first came to prison, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly none of this. I'm a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. And very shy. These characteristics have got me raped so many times I have no more feelings physically.

Gay rights activists often repeat the mantra that homosexuals are born that way. You cannot change either way. I like to dispute that. Take a look at the report published by Human Rights Watch on male prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse in the United States.

What is interesting is this

vast majority of prison rapists do not view themselves as gay. Rather, most such rapists view themselves as heterosexuals and see the victim as substituting for a woman.
Perpetrators of rape typically view themselves as heterosexual and, outside of the prison environment, prefer to engage in heterosexual activity.

Can homosexuality be a choice? The report seems to imply so, for some men. So, should prisoners be given CSE on the safe and healthy way to engage anal sex, since "studies" have shown that abstinence-only education does not work?

Get your copy of the AWARE CSE at Tampines Court blog

After all the talk about transparency and openness, the AWARE old guard didnt seem to have put their CSE online for all to judge for ourselves. Instead, they try to trivialise the concerns by saying the offending sections are not shown to the students or the homosexual parts are a small proportion of the whole course, or that the parts about anal sex or pre-marital is very neutral. The truth is anything but. Judge for yourself, take a look at the Tampines Court blog. That blog has a link to the originals.

As much as I dislike Josie/Thio and their methods, the AWARE old guard is just pot and kettle.

My problem with homosexuality II: What gays want

What does the gay movement really really want? They had worked had to create the perception that gay people are really just like the rest of us, but with special needs that are consensual and harms no one. But is that the complete truth?

4) Why GLBTQ and not GLBTQI

The I here refers to incest. Take a look at an example of "incest activism" here: Brother and sister fight Germany's incest laws. For all the talk of being tolerant and inclusive, the gay activists and their AWARE comrades are noticeably quiet about incest. Why dont these liberals fight for acceptance of this "alternative lifestyle" as well? I'm talking about mutually consensual incest, not Joseph Fritzl. Do they find incest "unnatural"? Are they suffering from traditional moralistic hangups, perhaps from the Abrahamic religions?

Do they think abstinence education will be effective for siblings sexually attracted to each other?

Who is the victim in consensual incestuous sex? If the increased risk for having children with birth defects is the main concern, all the more we need a good proper sexuality education to ensure birth control is done correctly, right?

Besides, couples do not have to be siblings to be at a heightened risk for having children with genetic defects. Therefore, such couples should be treated the same way as incestuous ones?

Or do they totally accept incest as a "natural and healthy" but recognizes that society abhors such behaviour and choose to ignore the needs of incest community, to save their self interest?

5) Gays dont really want to repeal 377A

It is a silly law. It attracts the sympathy of moderates, maybe even some conservatives. It creates an impression of an oppressed community.

However, in it's current state of no active enforcement, it does encapsulate the attitude of Singapore: As long as gay sex is discretely, privately, consensually done between gay men certain of their identity, there should be no need to fear the law.

It does leave open the possibility of blackmail and extortion, but so do heterosexual relations. It's not unheard of for women to regret having sex and falsely accuse the men of rape. Or other freakish circumstances, like police investigations on unrelated charges that reveal consensual gay sex taking place.

I think the law needs fine tuning, and is best left to people with smarter minds than me.

Until then, 377A will remain a powerful rallying cry for gays to lobby for more power and rights, and they are not in a big hurry to repeal it.

6) Gays don't really want to get married

Despite all the lobbying especially in the US, the gay community dont really believe in marriage as an institution. You can blame the homophobic society pushing them to extreme liberalism, but the gay community has no beliefs in monogamy, despite their attempts to manufacture an image of being just like regular folks who want to settle down, get married in a church and raise children.

Take a look at the first article on regarding the AWARE takeover. Alex Au digresses in that article to talk, not about gay rights, but on the failure of abstinence education. Everybody sees the world through their tinted lenses, and clearly he wants as much sex with as many men as he can get, with consent of course. For such hedonists, marriage is an inconvenience.

So why do they still lobbying so hard for gay marriage? In the US, married couples have significant tax advantages, so there is a financial motivation. But more importantly, they want to chip away traditional concepts of relationships, and re-create the world in their own image and ideals.

I dont share the moral/amoral clarity of the Bible fundamentalists or liberal extremists. I find homosexuality a complex and delicate issue, often with no right or wrong answers that can last the test of times and changing attitudes.

Just as I dont think Bible fundamentalists are Christians, Christians should not succumb to the smearing tactics of the gay movement to either choose to support them or be labelled a "fundie", or a "sheep".

The gay movement dont really believe in being open or tolerant. The recent events show that these gay activists have no tolerance for Christians.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My problem with homosexuality

There is an obvious attempt by gay activists in Singapore to bully Christians into supporting their cause. I don't think Christians need to succumb to their smearing. However, when speaking to non-Christians, Christians should be mindful not to invoke the Bible, because it carries too many baggages. There are many secular objections that is seldom brought up in the debate, and I will attempt to cover some:

1) Homosexuality is natural

Arguing that homosexuality is unnatural is a losing proposition. Homosexuality existed throughout human history and is present in the animal kingdom. That said, there are a lot of other natural behaviour that most societies abhor, like sexual attraction to children or corpses.

Acts that are also present throughout human history as well as the animal kingdom.

Just because an attraction is natural does not mean it is acceptable. If a paedophile or necrophile fail to abstain from their natural attraction, we lock them up. Would the gay activists argue that abstinence education is useless in this case, and therefore we should include in our sexuality education the safe way for having sex with children and corpses?

The gay activists draw the big distinction with the presence of mutual consent, but the age of consent is such an arbitrary and artificial concept that varies between jurisdictions.

And how does one obtain consent from a corpse?

2) Homosexuality is not a choice, most of the time

Gay activists like to point out they are born like that. They did not choose it as a lifestyle and therefore cannot choose to become heterosexual. Like all acts of advocacy, the mantra should be kept simple, even if reality is not.

I personally buy into the point of view of controversial sexuality researcher Alfred Kinsey that we are all born bisexual. The difference is only in the degree of attraction.

So while there are some gays who cannot choose to be heterosexual, there are plenty more who can. As this muddies up their position, you will notice that gay activists dont like to talk about bisexuals.

3) Homosexuals seek to expand their community

Bearing the previous point in mind, one should remember that all advocacy groups seek to expand their membership, and the gay community is no exception. So even as they self-righteously pan Christian evangelists for imposing our beliefs on non-Christians, they too are trying to impose their sexual liberalism to a moderate world. Just take a look at how hard tries to draw audiences from diversified backgrounds, including pretending to be anti-PAP since it draws eyeballs, only to sneak in photos of naked men on the unsuspecting reader from time to time.

It is a myth that gays in Singapore are oppressed. Most Singaporeans think that the gay activists are fighting to be left alone in their own private space. But they already have that space. What they really want, is to impose their beliefs into the public space, into your living room, into the classrooms and attract as many people as possible to experiment.

What makes a mostly unenforced Section 377A so dangerous for them is that, while they are "cultivating" an uncertain quarry, the quarry may regret and file a police report, which will trigger enforcement. To be safe, gays will have to limit their cruising to only those who already self-identified as gay, and they don't like that.

To be continued.

Disappointed with MOE

As a parent of two young boys, I have to say that I am very disappointed that MOE allowed gay activists to infiltrate their sexuality education programme via the AWARE backdoor. Even when AWARE didnt have a gay agenda, it is bad enough that they leave something so controversial to a bunch of extremist feminists.

"Here are some extracts. Please note this information is targeted at 12 year olds
Page 13
1. Anal sex - can be healthy or neutral if practiced with consent and with a condom.
14. Practicing how to use a condom.
15 Now we will demonstrate and practice how to use condoms (5 penis simulators are provided,)
6 Trainer will demonstrate the use of a condom and invite participants to practice."

Read more here

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What I have learnt lately

In the same chapter where some claims Jesus heals a gay lover of a centurion, Jesus says this: "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

That's exactly how I feel now, as a Christian/Catholic in the Singaporean blogosphere.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

If Singapore was nothing more than a fishing village in 1965...

Typical PAP supporters like to say that Singapore was nothing more than a fishing village before Lee Kuan Yew came and transformed it.
Then what is this? Was Raffles Hotel a gathering place for fishermen?

I think PAP supporters tend to confuse Lee Kuan Yew with Stamford Raffles a lot, especially those who like to talk about the "Post 65" generation being "soft". Among other things, PAP was already running Singapore in 1959. Shouldn't it be "Post 59" generation? Or would that exclude too many people who are classified everywhere else in the world as "Baby Boomers"? The greediest generation.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Grumblings about LG's LG60 series TV

In case anybody is wondering, I'm still alive. Just not blogging that frequently. But after doing so much research that led me to a deadend, I feel obliged to write this down somewhere.

I am in the market to look for a LCD TV. My personal stimulus package for the world economy. After doing much reading, I have singled out LG, and it particular the LG 37LG60. It's supposed to be everything I need at a reasonable price. Except of course, it is not.

You see, if you buy the 37LG60 is North America, you get a set that comes with Full HD and 120Hz Trumotion. Now I know these features may not be useful at all, these are things that are nice to have, and TVs sporting these features cost a premium. And in North America, the 37LG60 is the cheapest boasting these features.

However, if you buy the same LG60 series TV in Singapore (or most of Asia, it seems), you get a different beast. The smaller ones, the 32LG60UR and 37LG60UR, are not Full HD. The larger ones, 42LG60FR and so on, are Full HD. All of them do *NOT* support 100/120Hz Trumotion, unlike their North American counterparts.

So, if you see a 37LG60UR in Singapore, and google about it, the only useful reviews you can find are that of North American sets. No useful review of the Asian set seems to exist. And since they are different in at least those two aspects, you cannot assume there is any similiarity in the two sets.

This problem does not seem exclusive to the LG60 series. Apparently, in North America, the LG70 series is advertised to support 120Hz Trumotion, but the 32LG70 does not. At least there is no such feature in the menus, unlike in larger sets.

The shrewd LCD buyer will probably be making fun of me now, noting that the only reason why people are confused is because they cant see the difference, which I agree.

But I cant help but feel cheated by LG for intentionally obfuscating the feature sets of TVs that are only alike in the bezels and stands, and in doing so command a price premium for the semi-ignorant buyer like me.