Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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What political candidates should have

A very learned friend was a participant in an IRC discussion.

The IRC discussion was about the local political scene purportedly mandating paper qualifications for credible candidature. I was told that a lot of good arguments were thrown up and they are in short summarized hereinbelow.

I have reproduced these with the kind permission of the author, which until he tells me that he does not mind being named, i shall not name him 🙂

1. Having paper qualifications has little to do with integrity.
2. Political education and savviness is not usually formally taught.
3. Not having paper qualifications does not mean a person does not have an education i.e. he can be self taught
4. There is also the question of who should decide what the formal criteria for the eligibility of candidates ought to be.
5. The requirement of paper qualifcations for candidates reserves the right to rule to the upper classes, which will entrench themselves and therefore undemocratic.
6. Politicians, even ministers, always have a team of specialists which they can consult. It’s more important to look at the qualifications of that team.
7. In a system where money has incredible corrupting influence, politicians must above all have backbone, not simply paper qualifications.
8. The quality of candidates should be judged by the people, not by some institution (schools).
9. Candidates with paper qualifications is a bonus, if they are one with the citizenry, they will be elected anyway and hence no requirements for paper qualifications are necessary
10. Having an educated electorate is the priority, not highly educated candidates per se. This leads to a more sustainable political system.
11. Putting point 4 and 9 together, mandating paper qualifications creates an aristocracy/dictatorship that will dumb down the public to maintain their grip on power. This is unsustainable.

In a short 11 points, the entire rubbish of elitism woven by the ruling party gets torn to shreds 🙂

I was taken aback speechless. And I now share this with you. 🙂 🙂 🙂


February 2, 2010 Posted by | Politics | 1 Comment

Musings of a poor churchmouse

I was fumbling over the work strewn over my table this morning when my secretary passed me something interesting.

It was an exclusive invitation made to “lawyers” so that they can have a first bite at a launch of some new property development at the Dempsey / Botanical Gardens area.

I was then struck thinking to myself…. obviously these guys don’t know how poor I am. Come to think of it, i have to settle a costly divorce settlement with beloved wifey. In the process of raising funds, much stuff had to be sent off to be sold.

For the first time in many many years, the number of speakers in the house will drop to 4 pairs. [This made my old mother happy]

I let go of my Intro, IBL and a whole stack of amplifiers a few months back. This time round even my beloved Naim Credo and SBL speakers were not spared, my newest Naim Pre-power set up has to be sacrificed as well. I think in a few days time, my top Naim CD Player has to go as well. Well, anything and everything can go towards raising that amount of extra cash.

Sometimes in life, when something does not serve you anymore, you might just have to let go of it. Only then will it clear space for something newer and something more suitable.

I would share that in the process of letting go and downsizing, i backslided abit. I ventured to try out a Constant Voltage Line Stage Preamp at not too high a risk and cost. But having come from repeated changes and heartaches on grossly mismatched amplifier pairings, failed equipment couplings and unbalanced component marriages, I was not too sure about this new fangled CVLSP and how she would perform. In a sense, I did not know what to expect.

The tricky part of it all was that it seemed to be the application of a modern and well thought out package of extremely conservative beliefs. In a sense, the chassis and branding were new but the circuitry was all pretty old school.

It was quite uneventful the way the CVLSP made her initial steps towards fitting into whatever i had left. Since then, and most of the time, the music cruise along happily and fine and the accompaniment of music seemed never to stop. Except for that one night when there was a hint of harshness in the music – a hint that i was not providing adequate voltage and current for her operation whereupon I stopped the music and threatened to throw her out of the house and guess what? the harshness disappeared and the gremlins were gone!

Sheesh….. Talking to an amplifier – now i might be really losing it. I guess if that is the case, i should be getting down to settling with this amplifier and not seeking anymore.

Back to the subject of wealth or rather a lack of it. I guess i am in the classic poverbial sense, in short, as poor as a churchmouse.

Hmm…. churchmouse… firstly i don’t attend church, and secondly i am not a mouse – i mean i am neither born in the year of the rat nor my actions or behaviour show me to be anywhere near a mouse. Nevertheless, i guess “as poor as a churchmouse” is something that applies to me. In fact from years back till recent times, my mum still  teases me about being a lawyer but yet as poor as a churchmouse.

I thank my family members did not view me with any disdain because of the lack of substance in my coffers.

To them they have always known my expressed my view that lawyering would in the first place have to conform to certain uncompromising principles 🙂

Firstly, i will not focus my practice on the making of money. 🙂 And for this i have to thank my understanding partner and staff for tolerating a somewhat motivated but unambitious partner in the firm. That, does mean advising whats best for clients ALL the time even if it means getting less for our pocket. It would also mean doing the best for each and every client [within reasonable limits] and not cut corners simply because you need the time to tend to another case so that it will bring you money.

Secondly, because of the oath that i have taken upon being called to the bar, I will not shut my eyes to obvious cases of injustice. What’s the worth of a lawyer, or even a Judge or any legal officer if the rudimentary concerns of the day or of life can supersede what clearly is seen as actions which do not further the cause of justice, fairness, integrity and the rule of law?

Thirdly, I will not in any event fear to take up something simply because there exists someone on the other side that erm you somewhat cannot afford to offend. In this situation i am talking about political cases, cases for the political underdog which in our case is the trampled opposition here. I know of lawyers who will defend any criminal but shy away from defending the political underdog.

Fouthly, in pursuance of the above, should any experiential knowledge perusade me that an alternative route outside the normal course of my work would help achieve the above then that route must be taken without any reservations. This i am talking about the need to change policy and law through the quest for political power via the route of politics.

But sadly, politics has its price. Not only in the actual expense of money involved in electioneering but also the losses that come with the ancillary risks of getting into trouble. I will elaborate on these in time to come but suffice to say, sometimes political cases do attract political consequences 🙂

In this aspect, the recent events only serve to affirm this belief even more. That though i had entered politics in order to stand up for the common man, there are so many more reasons now for me to stand up to the system not only because of the common man but also the reform that is so much needed in this country. Legal reform is one such aspect. There are many rules which need to be changed and many ill-thought out decisions need to be rectified. In this regard, i don’t need to say more, the track record would speak for itself.

The only problem is that there will be so many things to write about, they seriously need to be on a separate page.

Shit… now i have to set up another page on this blog. 🙂

February 1, 2010 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment