Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chinese New Year

These 3 days were tiring days for me indeed, visiting many relatives from dawn to dusk. Along the way many things can be observed and reflected upon that reflects the changing facets of Singapore.

1. A cup holder showing a 25th National Day Celebration (1990).
The motto for that year was One People, One Nation, One Singapore.
I cant remember what the motto was for last year, but from the motto i feel that the importance was placed on the people - The People before the Nation.

2. Geylang.
Those prostitutes really made that place famous now. I had a relative living in Geylang, and when we were on the way home, there were so many men looking around looking for #%&. I instinctively tensed up and tried to make a defensive stance to protect my mum and sis...

The blangadeshi or indian workers also appeared in hordes, appearing to flood up the alleys. I had no complains to this as it is a National holiday and anyone can relax and have fun. I was only wondering when the 6.5million target population is reached, will there be any space to move about at all?

3. 国富民强
This was on the lampposts all over Singapore. It means the Country has to be rich before the people can get strong. Why not the Country getting rich because of its people being strong?

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Friday, February 16, 2007

A reply to Mr Pavin Limanont in the ST forum

Pavin Limanont spoke that many countries had foreign talents in important positions of Government. He cited Mr Moshe Katsav,Ms Michaelle Jean, Ms Adrienne Clarkson and King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (click on the read more to read on)

1. Mr Moshe Katsav, president of Israel

He grew up in Israel, attended Israel's educations and mixed in the society. Would it be fair to say that he is more Israelite than people who emigrated from Israel since childhood? (Analogy)

2. Ms Michaelle Jean Governor General of Canada

She was not "elected", but rather appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. If you read wikipedia's entry she's not without her controversies over her loyalty.

3. Ms Adrienne Clarkson, Former Governor General of Canada.

She was born in Hong Kong, but moved to Canada when she was 2... the same reasoning applies to her as with Mr Moshe. And like her sucessor, she was appointed by the Queen, not by elections.

4. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

This contradicts his own the definition of a foreigner as HM is still a Thai in Nationality, although he was born in America. Plus he was chosen as the sucessor, not elected, and his powers are limited due to Thailand being a Constitutional Monarchy.

All these are appointed positions, save for Mr Moshe; they are not elected democratically. So will the people vote for them if given the chance to do so???
Mr Pavin also said about embracing foreigners into Singapore and cited the sucess of America and the UAE as models to learn from. Okay point taken but we must understand that there are common interests for foreigners when the live in another country.

In the case of the UAE, I would believe that religion does play a part.

Quoted from wikipedia:
Nearly all citizens are Muslims, approximately 85 percent of whom are Sunni and the remaining 15 percent are Shi'a. Although no official figures are available, local observers estimate that approximately 55 percent of the foreign population is Muslim, 25 percent is Hindu, 10 percent is Christian, 5 percent is Buddhist, and 5 percent (most of whom reside in Dubai and Abu Dhabi) belong to other religions, including Parsi, Baha'i, and Sikh.

As for America, I believe foreigners move and live there because of the culture that America has.


Can Singapore achieve these. It will only be known in the future.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday's Straits Times In Brief

1. Household income of lowest wage earners rises.
Although it was reported that incomes had risen among employed households, it was also attributed to more people working in the family and shrinking size of a family.

So in the end, nothing much has changed. The poor are still getting low salaries.

The rich, however had a 8% increase in their salaries, rising to $6990 and widening the Gini Coefficient to 0.472. I dunno how they calculate the benefits bought by the "progress package", but the papers said after factoring this in, the Gini actually shrank to 0.439...Now its just whether people believe it or not.

2. Bus Bays may be axed to help cut time.
After years of using bus bays, they are now considering removing them? What a funny proposal. They should ask themselves what is the purpose/advantages/disadvantages of a bus bay in the first place when they built them all over Singapore, not 40 years later.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

6.5million: 3.5million foreigners + 3million locals

The Government has said that despite our decreasing birth rates, the population will still grow to 6.5million people in 20 years time. (2027?) This will be fufilled by allowing more foreigners to work and study in Singapore.

Let me guess where these foreigners are going to come from.

1. China's southern provinces (Primarily from Guangzhou and Fujian)
2. Malaysia
3. Indonesia
4. India

I hope the Government can handle them. With more than 3million foreigners in Singapore its not as easy as catching people who are in groups of 4.

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