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My Grown Up Christmas List

It’s the time of the year when it’s the end of the year.

The usual things that occupy me would be squeezing time and space to do an area cleaning of my office as well as my home. The clean up of home is a less disruptive affair, since I actually do routine cleaning on a weekly basis. The end of the year clean up would merely be the 1st round cleaning up that precedes the Lunar New Year cleaning.

The clean up of the office is very much different. It necessitates dealing with a lot of dust which come from the old files. This course of cleaning precedes me coming down with some respiratory issue as a result and subsequently a full blown bout of flu. It has been the same over the past few years all the way from end 2006.

In some ways, things have never changed. Some things, in fact, never change.

Upon taking stock of the amount of cleaning required for the home, I come face to face with my extra audio components sitting around. Having extra components lying around is proof that I have found time for my hobby, which means I had time to myself. Having finally sold the car to stop the meaningless and wasteful depreciation of multiple vehicles, I almost immediately committed the monthly savings of a thousand dollars into another amplifier. The new kid was going for a song, I simply had to have it. The manufacturer intended it as a serious piece of engineering and not some mickey mouse amplifier but it’s a toy simply because to me it fulfilled a want and not a need as I am already well served by many others.

When another functional component is added to the stable but fails to serve any additional functional purpose, the desire of simply wanting the component (however seriously designed) classifies it as a toy. No wonder some women say is that “the difference between the men and the boys is the price of their toys”.

Toys are the perfect way to indulge the self when November comes followed by the festive mood and thereafter the new year. November this year was a milestone, it marked the beginning of my forties. Finally hitting the big “4” made me reflect that though I might be getting older but given these toys amongst other obsessions am I actually getting more mature?

Being somewhat fortunately relatively unencumbered 🙂 without worries about day-to-day needs can make one restless. The mind wanders towards other wants and desires. I was consciously aware of this and to distract myself, I had sought to move away from materialistic wants to update myself on the current affairs of the world. Things that had occurred over the past two and half years which I did not really pay much attention. I had to digest information on sad situations all over the world environmental and humanitarian disasters in various places Liberia, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, the intense hardship of the Arab people that led to the Arab Spring, the civil war in Libya and Syria and the recent Philippine Typhoon.

The problems these peoples and countries faced which would have justified active large-scale intervention from the international community. However, all military or humanitarian intervention is stuff left to the office bearers to decide. It is somewhat out of place for the common man to attempt solutions, however ingenious, to solve the world’s problems. 🙂 Similarly at home, where Singapore’s problems are, by comparison, tiny and insignificant, they should similarly be left to those in charge to deal with for it is their responsibility. With the power of office comes the responsibility. There are no two ways about it.

And then I pondered on the role of the common man in the midst of all this. I came to the conclusion that, inevitably, each of us carry a burden unique to our own circumstances, and universal truth and logic mandates that each of us fulfil the responsibility to the self before actually looking beyond. This corroborates with the saying that anyone seeking to do greater good must have settled his own basics, to be in the position to offer to the larger community. A failure to check all the boxes might result in the endeavour towards public office being be twisted by less altruistic motivations and thereby skewing the object, the process and the outcome of the original intent of involvement. And trust me, these will show. 🙂

It is then apt to conclude that all who seek public office should have proven their abilities in areas of their life, their family and their career so much so that when the calling for public office becomes the next logical extension of involvement in the community. This will result in making a conscious decision to use one’s energies towards the public good and not be skewed by self-interest considerations. Correspondingly, logic mandates that the reverse will also be true. When office bearers fail their higher calling and act in a manner to only serve their self-interest, they inevitably denigrate themselves to the degressed position of a common man serving one’s own self-interest.

This self-introspective criteria is only one part to the equation meant to achieve a distant and lofty ideal. Finding answers to the questions is only the first step and does not guarantee anything. For the level of comfort and security for different individuals differ, so would their degree of honesty and self-awareness.

A simplified approach to the conundrum would be for one to direct the simplified question to himself of how much is enough? When should a person start to consider service to the public as one of his objectives in his life? What should the ideal threshold of one’s achievements before looking at sacrificing to serve the greater good? I must admit that at age 40, I do not have answers to the above questions which I myself formulated. 🙂 Despite my having idealistically jumped the gun previously before reverting to take a more conventional and practical path. 🙂 It would therefore be right to conclude that I have regressed to being a common man 🙂

However, I must clarify that to focus on fulfilling the responsibility to oneself, one’s job and one’s family should never and must never cloud one’s sense of what is right and what is wrong. A decision to focus limited time and energies on what is basic, immediate and pressing is not a compromising of principles and beliefs.

For cleaning up one’s own backyard does not equate to a changed moral compass, values and principles. This is the only surefooted approach. What value can a person bring to the larger society in striving to clean up the neighbourhood when his own backyard ain’t in order? Similarly, what value can someone bring to the greater cause when in striving to clean up the neighbourhood, his sense of right and wrong gets perverted along the way? These reasons, read collectively, fully justify each and every person first focusing on one’s basic obligations as a person, a man and a son whilst preserving the innate sense of what is right and what is wrong and only upon surmounting the intermediate levels of achievement, should one take the step forward for the larger community.

But the questions remain, how much is enough? where do we draw the line? what then can be done in the meantime? These questions admittedly take on a deeper meaning and require deeper introspection during this time of the year. Every year. The birthday month (time for celebration and introspection) together with the proximity of Christmas (time for giving) and the new year (a time of reflection and resolutions) come together to form a potent mix. In fact, it is probably too much for me to bear. It is no wonder that I come down ill on every approach to the new year. During this seasonal forced rest and sleep, I reinterpret my thoughts while being confined to the bed. It was in this period of rest that I surfed the web to update myself and was taken aback by humanitarian disasters in various places of this planet that deserved far more assistance and active intervention from the more well endowed nations.

In the comfort of my bed, I could not help but compare the plight of the affected of having not enough food, water, medicine, sanitation and basic safety from physical harm to my own dilemmas of adding yet another redundant toy to the stable. But this then begets the question – what is a common man to do in the face of big and insurmountable problems that are undeniably way beyond his abilities? Do we stop living? Do we stop doing the things which we are supposed to do? Do we stop enjoying the things we have earned and are entitled to enjoy?

In the past, I have had little difficulty in making wishes for myself at the end of the year (hey its my birthday and its christmas). However, this year 2013, faced with this dilemma, as opposed to other years, I could not find it in me to ask for more. Nursing my bout of flu in bed, there were no celebrations. I was unwell with dip in my health and fitness, but by and large, I had to concede that I was not lacking in anything. I had a sense of fulfilment. But at the same time, I also had an equally strong sense of entitlement for it was Christmas and the New Year was coming. This was coupled with a sense of being at a loss of being entitled to make a wish, but not knowing what to wish for. I sought the internet for answers in the same manner that I sought information. The answer came to me when in my medication induced stupor, I “youtubed” ‘Christmas list’ as opposed to “googled” ‘Christmas wish’.

The song that came up was “My Grown Up Christmas List”. This was written by David Foster some time ago and though it is a great and meaningful song, it does not seem to have enjoyed much airplay. The beautiful lyrics went as follows:

Do you remember me I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies
Well, I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child But my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown up Christmas list
Not for myself But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely wrapped beneath our tree
Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(there’d be) No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh

This is my grown up Christmas list
This is my only life long wish
This is my grown up Christmas list

The lyrics of this song are amazingly powerful AND as it is obviously an old song, I must have heard it before. But somehow I have never noticed it. Until now. The revelation brought by this song was the answer to my dilemma. I have come to believe that God specially places angels to guide each and every one of us, to show us the way.

For me, He has generously given me several 🙂 He placed one notably in Korea, and yesterday morning, He spoke to me through her and made me grow up. This is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS3p4jv4Ov0 to the somewhat incomplete fancam recording but one that has the least audio distortion of angelic TaeYeon’s lovely rendition.

I have to admit that it was only after TaeYeon’s rendition, for the first time in my life, I made a wish for the world at large. AND at the risk of sounding like some beauty pageant contestant wishing ad nauseam for an abstract concept of world peace…..

(there’d be) No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And every one would have a friend
And right will always win
And love would never end

On this final day of the year 2013, I do hope, that with this wish and prayer, I have indeed changed and grown up. 🙂

December 31, 2013 Posted by | audiophilia, Life, Politics, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation | Leave a comment

The Power of 9

In case many of us have not noticed, the number 9 is actually the biggest digit in the numerical system in use today.

Just in case many of us have also yet to notice, 9 always appears in the somewhat strategic and somehow oddest of places.

Firstly, 9 is the recorded strength on the Richter scale of the recent Japanese Earthquake that hit northeast Japan.

9 also appears in phone numbers which are essential all over the world, e.g. 911 in USA. In Singapore 999 for the police and 995 for the ambulance services.

Closer to home, where there has been an election fever for the longest time, this campaign has also been characterised also by the number 9, we have always had the customary 9 day campaign period for eons and until recently 9 single member constituencies used to house the braver of the PAP candidates.

The recent boundary changes have added 3 brave men [when i say brave i mean brave enough to be fielded in an SMC] into the PAP fold and seemingly the magical number 9 had disappeared. But interestingly as if by coincidence the number 9 reappeared in the form of 9 seats for NMPs and 9 seats for NCMPs. 🙂

On the subject of bravery, this election also saw the opposition display its fair share of brave men. SPP’s Sec-Gen Chiam See Tong joined his Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC team to try to take down that GRC. WP’s Sec-Gen Low Thia Khiang joined his Aljunied team to try to capture Aljunied GRC. This has been described by some as going into the mountain to get the tiger cubs. To go and get the tiger is of course a good thing but we should all remember that a cat has 9 lives. And a tiger is a big cat.

Besides extending the life of a cat, the number 9 also had some powers of coalescence and division. And this time it was within Socialist Front’s backyard that the number 9 wrecked havoc.

I had again 9 aging men (myself included) in the council of the Socialist Front. There was a king cat in the mountain of Tanjong Pagar. Prior to the elections, no firm decision was made on going after the kingcat. It was only after our withdrawal that an attempt was made by some renegade members to go for Tanjong Pagar GRC. This last minute attempt naturally ran into problems. Now that the elections would be over, it remains to be seen whether the experience of sitting out this 9 days of election hustings would be a unifying or disunifying event.

Amongst the parties participating in this election, the 9 day hustings also exerted pressure to bring the parties in solidarity with each other.

In the past we had the fallen PAP candidates and walkover PAP ministers who cried. Then its those PAP ministers who were stepping down [Lim Boon Heng], then the last thing i heard was even Khaw Boon Wan was close to tears. We also had a Workers’ Party candidate who cried on his… erm… introduction as candidate. SJP’s Sec-Gen Desmond Lim Bak Chuan also shed some tears due to the stress of the campaign. The sensational Nicole Seah also fell prey to her emotions. As to how many more candidates will be left crying upon the revelation of the polling day’s results is for everyone to imagine.

The pressure of these 9 days also honestly did some good for the country, we have a humbled George Yeo, we have Vivian Balakrishnan finally apologising for his unkind remarks made in parliament, Lee Hsien Loong apologised as well.

If this is anything to go by, I must say that there must be more of such 9 day elections so that certain people can be brought down closer to mother earth.

This to me signals the maturing of politics. This is good for the country. This is how a ruling party should behave. Be willing to admit that you are wrong. Be willing to change and further our nationhood.

As usual, it will be unlikely that a single post on this blog is to come out of my fingers without making reference to SNSD. As explained previously before, SNSD is the acronym for So Nyuh Shi Dae – Girls’ Generation. They are to me the best girl band to have ever walked the face of this earth. SNSD is also made up of 9 members: TaeYeon, Jessica, Tiffany, Sunny, SeoHyun, HyoYeon, SooYoung, Yuri and Yoona.

The trouble with SNSD is that more often than not, Sones like us just cannot seem to get enough of them. SNSD videos are a mix of group shots, panned shots and close up shots of the girls. This was the same for live broadcasts of their performances as well as their music videos. The beauty of SNSD is in their synchronised dancing. However, given 9 pretty faces, cameramen often zoom in for close ups and given the way their videos are mixed, being able to see the entire action of a song is itself a miracle on its own.

Complete and unedited dance versions of their performances are very rare such that even leaked out practice videos have gained a following.

Samples of the practice videos are at the following links:

Genie (Tell Me Your Wish / I Just Wanna Wish) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKPxeS6uXt8

Oh! [This is the cheerleading song] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7SYWFeaSqc&feature=related

My Best Friend [watch for TaeYeon’s mistake] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmaa81tt9Wo

Now practice videos being practice videos, no one should expect them to be dressed to the 9s. These are not performances but leaked videos of their practices. The appreciation is not in the dressing but their dance moves, the choreography, their timing, their poise and gracefulness.

Some Sones were obviously dissatisfied when they started delving into making the videos more interesting and having organised fancam recordings so that they would not miss out on every move of each of their favourite SNSD member.

Some Sones having decided that one screen playing SNSD was not enough, pioneered the use of 9 screens (they wanted to look at all 9 fancams together so they split the screen into ninths – each playing one fancam). Later on some brought the game further, some wanted 9 different SNSD performances of the same song to be put on the same screen, then it was cast, someone mixed 9 videos into a super SNSD HD video sending some Sones to cloud 9 and giving some others sleepless nights.

Maybe I am reading too much,  if SNSD has nine members it would be apt to divide the screen into nine miniscreens for the screensaver. But i could have sworn that it was the Soshi fans did it first, it was only thereafter did the SNSD Daum Screensaver come along, then came the SNSD Woongjin Coway advertisement.

The 9th of March is also Kim TaeYeon’s birthday. And if you take a closer note of Kim TaeYeon and her cheerleader’s garb and oversized jersey in some of SNSD’s music videos, her jersey is always numbered ‘9’. Someone said that my adulation for SNSD bordered on insanity and obsession….

Notwithstanding the above, it is clear that the power of 9 works its magic once again. As stated earlier, the number 9 appears not only just in the 9 days of campaigning, there is now the promise of 9 NCMP seats, the 9 parties contesting: PAP, WP, SDP, NSP, RP, SPP, SDA (SJP/PKMS)

but interestingly none of the 9 parties actually fielded 9 members…. the minimum number of candidates each participating party fielded is 7 which was obviously an attempt to qualify for the Party Political Broadcast on TV which required each party to field a minimun of 6 candidates. Now this sets me thinking… and incidentally, the polling day has also been fixed as 7th May 2011. What does that mean of the things that are to come?

On this polling day, it pays for each of us to sit down and think about the things happening around us and draw commonalities from the coincidences and the unexplained.

In any event, since Socialist Front had already decided to take a back seat for this round of elections, this 9 days to me have been a time of firefighting, deep thought, self-reflection and re-orientation. This blogpost is the product of these 9 days of detachment.

It would be heinously wrong for me to assert that I had come up with this post entirely on my own intellect and reflection. It would be apt for me to pay tribute to the original creators of the phrase that lent inspiration to this post.

“The Power of 9” is actually the phrase used by the Soshified community in tribute to the South Korean Girl Band named So Nyuh Shi Dae – Girls’ Generation a.k.a. SNSD.

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Life, Politics, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation | Leave a comment

Socialist Front’s Statement at 15th April 2011 Press Conference – On the Front’s Withdrawal from General Election 2011

The following is my statement to the press as Secretary-General, Socialist Front on the Front’s withdrawal from participation in GE 2011. This delayed posting is the result of fatigue and distractions the author encountered subsequent to the Press Conference and which will be the subject matter of an upcoming post. In any event, the Press Statement went as follows:

Socialist Front Press Conference
Press Statement for 15th April 2011

We are Singapore’s newest and smallest political party.

We were formed on 1st September 2010. 7 months after our formation, we are thrust into the fever preceding Singapore’s 12th General Election. In this election, 3 aspects stand out:

1. Changes in boundaries, wards absorbed and new wards carved out.
2. 12 SMC seats out of 87 seats total
3. 9 NCMP seats for top unelected losers from opposition

These aspects must be considered against the PAP’s overwhelming dominance in parliament. The NCMP scheme cuts both ways, the PAP will use it to undermine the need to vote for the opposition as the scheme ensures opposition presence in parliament.

The NCMP scheme also deviates from the principles of parliamentary democracy and is thus a hurdle for Singapore’s political development.

The Socialist Front believes that success for the opposition, which is real political development in Singapore’s interest can be achieved by:-

1. collectively rejecting the NCMP scheme.
2. co-operating to avoid multi-cornered fights.
3. focusing resources behind their best candidates.
4. campaigning on a common message on a united front.

Our party like all political parties desire electoral success but the nation’s political development is an overriding objective and Singapore’s interests must come first before our party and individual interests.

There looms many multi-cornered fights which are likely to advantage the incumbent.

In a hotly debated and carefully considered decision, the Front has taken a position for this General Election. This position can be summarized into 5 points:-

1. Singapore’s political development takes precedence over our party & individual interests.

2. National politics should not be degraded into an arena for personal ambition or turned into a contest of personal egos.

3. The Front does not intend to split the opposition vote by way of multi-cornered fights.

4. The Front does not intend to endorse the NCMP scheme.

5. The opposition is likely to field many presentable and well-qualified candidates, Singapore will not be worse off with our absence. Our non-participation will serve to benefit our fellow opposition.

Our chairman Mr. Ng Teck Siong is our party’s only confirmed candidate. He is keen to contest Mountbatten SMC. The party has given him our blessings and the option to do so, so long as he does not enter into a 3-cornered fight in Mountbatten.

We believe that our position removes fog from the opposition camp and we sincerely wish our fellow opposition all the best in the coming days.

Chia Ti Lik
Secretary-General
Socialist Front, Singapore

There are 4 videos of the event which is up on Straits Times’ RazorTV Election Website.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Politics | Leave a comment

Lessons from the past – the same road, the same reason

This morning i awoke with a heavy ache in the chest. I could not fathom why. I was not really ill. Perhaps i ought to see a doctor for it but my schedule does not permit me taking time out easily to address minor aches and pains these days.

I wondered if its because i did too much walking recently. I realise that these days, i like the dead of the night. In fact i long for it. Time to be alone. Time to myself. To search and to find myself. These days, i can no longer run anymore. Age has caught up. Knees hurt. To counter this, i resort to taking long walks instead. in the dead of the night. Alone. My long lonely walks was serving a dual purpose on getting me some much needed exercise as well as time to reflect.

In my recent reflections, I end up questioning the things i have done. For myself, for others. All in the name of idealism. Sometimes no one sees the burden actually shouldered by the person coming in to solve the problem when the problem was not created by the problem solver in the first place.

When the problem has been solved and consequences follow, the problem solver is interestingly left standing alone. I did not see this so clearly until of late when the prospect of progress is placed on the table. I saw the scramble. I saw the orientation of agendas. I begin to see and recognise where loyalties truly lie.

At this juncture, i have to pay tribute to an acquaintance of mine. I recall a particular trying and painful episode in September 2005. This friend knowing which path i was on had chosen to warn me – out of pure concern – that the path that I was taking would be hard, extremely hard. She warned me of the hard truth of the quest for power in politics, of glory and fame and the lust for it. She told me that there were no real friends. There was something that each person involved would want for themselves and this itself would be the key spanner that screws things up when the test comes. Out of pure innocence and naivety, i brushed her concerns aside.

She told me that everyone involved in politics has an agenda and for my own good i better not be too idealistic. I am likely to be alone in my quest. A smart person would ask “What’s in it for me”. Its a pity i did not heed her advice then. And I took 6 long years to learn this. 🙂

The New Paper recently interviewed me telling me that SF scored the lowest in the survey on credibility as well as recognisability. One of my answers to the reporter is that the Socialist Front is being left out of some events like forums organised by NUSS and talkshows by CNA’s Talking Point bearing in mind we are Singapore’s youngest political party, is it surprising? 🙂

It was then that I realised that the Socialist Front of Singapore is treading this path alone 🙂 so is Chia Ti Lik Secretary-General of the Socialist Front. 🙂

There is a serious need to reassess, need to recalculate. Need to change operational philosophy and doctrine. There is just simply so much to do. And surprise surprise… I am doing it alone.

This is not something bad. It just thoroughly removes the naive idealism. Once and for all. 🙂

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Life, Politics | Leave a comment

Japan’s undersea quake is a little reminder to us to smell the flowers :)

News has it that a massive 8.9 undersea earthquake hit off northeastern Japan triggering a tsunami which hit the coastline causing widespread destruction.
People should realise the fragility of life from such events. The need to pull together. The need to be grateful. The need to bring good and help to each other and also to the other beings on this planet. Especially the people who are in the position to do so. And a little reminder to all of us common folk to take time out to smell the flowers. 🙂

For those whose time left on this world is little … though the end is nigh …. its still not to late to repent 🙂 🙂 🙂

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Life, Politics | Leave a comment

The cost [cause] and effect of taking up positions :)

Previously, I gave up all my extremely exotic and capable Krell amplifiers, Onkyo and Sony CD players in my switch to Naim Electronics. I chose Naim because it made music and its designs suited my lifestyle. I declared Naim to be the world’s finest and I dived headlong into Naimophilia.

I have a 700-CD collection which I thought I would listen to till i grow old and with that I allowed my Naim obsession to get out of hand – ending up with a stable of 3 Naim CD Players, a myriad of Naim amplifiers, 2 pairs [at one stage i had 4 pairs] of Naim speakers amongst others. 🙂

Then something happened recently which led me to conclude that my dream system of Active Six-Pack Naim Nap135s into DBLs would never materialise, I then was forced to decide what to do with an electronic crossover and 6 amplifiers and other surplus equipment of varying value and purposes lying idle and gathering dust.

As the elections were drawing nearer, I toyed with the idea of selling my surplus and idle equipment for spare cash. I started first with my Naim CD Players. They were chosen to go first because I knew that they were sought after and were likely to find quick buyers. Indeed, the buyers came and went very quickly before i realised, i had committed to sell all my 3 players. I had kept my CD players without expecting to sell them. however, strangely when I had committed to sell them, I began to think of selling almost everything else.

This was because Naim equipment uses proprietary connectors and cables and I took positions when I acquired them. Things were markedly different when i decided to sell off my front end which was akin to cutting off the rose at the bud or taking one wheel out of a 2 wheel cart. Though I could have substituted a replacement, the situation would not have been ideal.

I then realised that when things are so intimately connected, any decision made would have a certain domino effect. As I take make changes with my equipment front end, the limitations of a new combination forces further consequential changes and I am forced to relinquishing of equipment and find a new position and balance. The positions and steps which i took earlier led me to have to take the current positions now. 🙂 Alot poorer in fact.

Interestingly, inasmuch as I thought I would have loved to hold on to my beloved equipment, I felt a certain liberation from being relieved of their ownership and possession. This itself also proves that taking positions itself is not a bad thing. 🙂 even though sometimes I may sound as if I am coerced to do so and losing money in the process  –  it is actually part of growth. 🙂

When we take a position in politics, it means that we take a stand. Doing so connotes the idea that you wish to communicate a message. This must not be confused with the idea of being principled [which is also good] with regards to one’s position, which stems more from having an ideological standpoint.

In short, taking a position is taking a stand as a matter of choice at a certain point of time irregardless of circumstances, conditions and beliefs.

Taking positions allows others to know my stand and whom I am supportive of. 🙂

There are two schools of thought here.

Some believe that fence-sitting in life and politics may be the way to go – of being here and also being there, of not being here and also not being there.

Some others believe that standpoints and positions cannot be compromised and therefore simply they choose to make their stand.

To the first group, the second group may seem opinionated but the latter’s position is clear and good because at least it helps others know where they stand.

The only drawback of taking positions will be that it forces your opponents to react, and from the reaction of your opponents, there would be consequences (which is neither good or bad) flowing from the position that one is taking.

Position taking also has a place in military jargon. Taking positions mean assuming tactical, strategic, logistical or geographical and even political positions. The concept of taking a position militarily connotes determination and will. Since young, I have always been drawn and inspired by the displays of military determination [as opposed to military strength] to take/hold a position the images conjured by the call to “dig in” and “fix bayonets” or “charge”. The steely determination conveyed by such jargon perfectly epitomises the concept of taking up positions.

Back to my own life, another reason for the disappearance of fixation on equipment is due to SNSD. For the benefit of the readers who did not follow my earlier posts, SNSD is the acronym for So Nyuh Shi Dae / Girls’ Generation. In my view, they are the best girl band to have ever walked the face of this earth. SNSD is also made up of nine members: TaeYeon, Jessica, Tiffany, SeoHyun, HyoYeon, Yuri, Sunny, SooYoung and Yoona.

My SNSD obsession started when i seriously simplified my life recently. Inherent in simplification is actually letting go. Letting go of many things allowed me to better appreciate life and things in life for what they are.

For the first time in many many years, SNSD allowed me to take my attention away from the details of the reproduction. I stopped wondering whether the kickdrum sounded real and whether the trumpet sounded natural. I simply found myself sitting down to enjoy the music.

It was also around this time that I also took another stand. I managed to conclude that the equipment should help you enjoy and not detract you from the music.

This occurred around the time of my birthday. It was also coincidental that during this time, tensions on the Korean Peninsula were raised. With the sinking of the corvette Cheonan still fresh in people’s minds, North Korean artillery shelled YeonPyeong Island in yet another unprovoked attack. South Korean artillery returned fire in an exchange that would likely go down in history to be the 3rd battle of YeonPyeong. [Anyone can Wiki the 1st and 2nd Battles of YeonPyeong]

From various reports, both military and civilians in South Korea seem united in their determination to have their government show a firmer response to the North. Retired / Veteran special forces personnel demonstrated asking for firmer action. The ROK’s generals have also expressed support for firm action. Public sentiment seems to be supportive of war with the North if required. It is clear that the South Korean people want their government to take a firm stand against North Korea.

South Korea was forced to take a stand in 1950. The Americans sided them and even went to war. I recall watching one movie depicting the lives of pilots in a USAF fighter Wing serving in Korea flying F-86 Sabres battling Soviet / North Korean Mig-15s over the skies of Korea in a tale of courage and sacrifice.

This time round, though the United States deployed CVN-73 USS George Washington for joint military drills with the South Korea, it remains to be seen whether the USA with all its internal problems would take a firm position in the possible impending Korean conflict or did it merely rattle its sabre.

South Korea, after completing the joint exercises with US, continued with its own military exercises and deployments to the front line. South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has warned of serious consequences for the North Koreans and that reunification is near. This hints of South Korea’s intention to go the war alone if need be.

Pundits differ on whether or not an all out war will break out on the Korean Peninsula. My evaluation is that an all out war started by the North is unlikely. I would even go to say that an all out war is unlikely but if it occurs would be started by the South [by massive retaliation for further provocations] and this would only happen when certain indications appear.

Firstly, North Korea’s intent in the unprovoked shelling is obviously intended to raise tensions and rhetoric aimed at propping up a collapsing regime in the run up to the Father to Son succession.

Secondly, North Korea does not have the ability to mount a full scale invasion across the DMZ. North Korea does not have potent air power. Unless a surprise attack is made via succesful tunneling under the demilitarized zone, North Korean infantry crossing the DMZ will be cut down like grass before a grass-cutter’s blade and if they do get to the South Korean side of the DMZ they have to face and overcome elite South Korean Border Guards, each a black belter in Taekwondo.

Thirdly, South Korea is peace loving and tends towards restraint and would certainly not be the one to fire the first shot.

Therefore, the scenario likely cause for war would be when the North, sensing the South’s reluctance to foot the heavy cost of human lives of an all out war, might choose to push its luck with further provocations. An all out war will only come when the South decides to punish the North in retaliation for such further provocations.

However, South Korea will not go to war as yet because certain elements which indicate galvanising of national resolve to fight are not apparent yet. This is because despite all the rhetoric there has not yet been any clear call for war.

To me, the clear sign for imminent war would be when SNSD’s concerts are cancelled [for no apparent reason whatsover as opposed to reasons like Tiffany’s ligament injury or Taiwan’s spat with Korea over the Taekwondo refereeing] and SNSD begins to make appearances in ROK’s military bases to cheer and encourage their servicemen.  🙂 If and when that happens, Kim Jong Il will have reason to be afraid, be very afraid. 🙂 🙂

In the event a Korean conflict breaks out. My stand is firmly for South Korea, ROK.

In my view, the South Koreans deserve a pat on the back and support for punching well above their weight as a nation, be it in sports, economically, technologically, socially, politically and culturally they have excelled against many other countries in stark contrast with the North simply on the very reason that theirs is a society that thrives because it is a democracy. AND Democracy did not come to South Koreans simply served on a platter, they as a society and a nation paid a price for it [An example was the Kwangju Uprising – wiki this].

Inasmuch as democracy should be sought despite the costs involved, democracy when achieved must be defended at all costs.

In fact, if I had any say, I would even despatch our F-15s to South Korea to see action if need be. Interestingly, this is also a politically correct position since our current ruling party is friendly with the North Koreans and I am in the opposition so I have to be friendly with the South. 🙂

Taking up clear positions is in line with being transparent and on top of being true to yourself. I will take positions when the situation calls for it irrespective of the costs and consequences of doing so as the satisfaction, growth and lessons learnt will in any event be priceless.

However, war mongering and belligerence aside, despite the positions I have communicated, I would venture to suggest a more intelligent way to break up North Korea.

North Korea despite its reclusion, has its cracks and weaknesses. A recent report revealed that North Korea has imprisoned more than a thousand of its own people for possessing or imitating South Korean pop culture.

South Korean pop culture is the fruit of a free society which is a by-product of a true democracy.

The actions of the Kim Jong Il regime in imprisoning their people for admiring the South betray their fears that South Korean pop culture is indeed an undesireable influence and a threat to their continued hold on power.

To break the Kim Jong Il regime from within, you need to bring democracy to North Korea.

To bring democracy to North Korea, you need to bring a thirst for democracy to the North Koreans.

To bring a thirst for democracy to North Koreans, the best weapon to do so is not with bullets and shells.

What the South needs to deliver to the North is to show to the North Koreans that their political and economic set up and their ruling party will never be able to facilitate or produce i.e. a culture worth being proud of.

If i were Lee Myung Bak, I would make the following orders for the counterstrike:

1. Request American assistance in the form of adequate Patriot Missile Defence Systems to be deployed;

2. Request American assistance in the form of a Tomahawk cruise missile strike package to be deployed;

3. Take out North Korean long range artillery, air power, air defences, nuclear facilities and sites in conjunction with several rounds of precision air strikes by Tomahawks, Stealth fighters and bombers;

4. Air drop Korean Pop culture [especially SNSD] vcds all over North Korea.

5. Beef up defences all around but Broadcast Korean Pop culture [especially SNSD] songs over to the North Korean border guards at the demilitarised zone. 🙂 🙂

How the North Koreans will react to the invasion by South Korean pop culture is anybody’s guess but what I am certain is that the delivery of a glimpse of what a free society may bring will precipitate very quickly the cause and effect of the actions of a regime that has closed off a society for decades with their warped ideas.

Seeding North Korea on such a scale would cost millions of dollars or billions of won. This, however, pales in comparison with the cost of human lives and infrastructure damage should an all out war occur. Therefore, the cost [cause] and effect of such a move will definitely be promising. 🙂 🙂

December 12, 2010 Posted by | audiophilia, Life, Politics, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation | Leave a comment

Socialist Front’s 1st Press Conference

The following is my maiden address as Secretary General, Socialist Front to the press on 29th October 2010 at 107 Rowell Road, Post Museum.

Ladies & Gentlemen, thank you for attending this morning. I am the Secretary-General of the Socialist Front. I will first address this conference on the objects and ideology of the party and our Chairman Mr. Ng Teck Siong will touch on the issues which are pertinent in the coming election, our treasurer Mr. Mansor Rahman will also say a few words.

The administration of Singapore is bound by its Constitution. The Parliament is part of government and owes its existence to the Constitution, it therefore has no authority to unilaterally disregard the Constitution or amend it without a referendum.

Article 4 of the Constitution states that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Republic of Singapore. Any laws passed by parliament which is contrary with the Constitution shall be null and void.

The Judiciary if it wants to be seen as independent must ensure that the Constitution is obeyed and upheld and it cannot adopt an attitude of nil supervision or non-interference with executive action or hide behind the argument of parliamentary supremacy in the powers of legislation.

When Singaporeans elect a party to majority in Parliament, it does not mean that they have relinquished all their rights to the ruling party. The supreme authority of running this country remains with Singaporeans. No one single person or entity should be allowed to control legislative and executive powers failing which further influence on the Judicial branch will be inevitable and the supposed guarantees of freedom and democracy will no longer exist.

Singaporeans must therefore resist any attempt to concentrate power with one party. Abuse of power will be likely if this is not prevented. Power must be divided to be checked so that citizens can be protected against abuse. This logic is also irrefutable.

Singapore has a long history of one party rule. The ruling party measures progress by economic prosperity. Singaporeans have to decide for themselves if their lives have changed for the better or worse over this period. Singapore’s economic development even if true must improve the lives of its citizens for it to have any real meaning to Singaporeans. The government must better the lives, further the aspirations and guarantee the freedom and well-being of Singaporeans.

Economic factors cannot be the only consideration of a government administering Singapore. We are a nation not a corporation. As a nation we cannot be obsessed with economic growth and expansion and neglect political and social progress otherwise problems will arise.

The current economic policies propagate indirect state control of the economy for profit and depresses the people’s wages and increases their cost of living. Singapore’s income gap has widened over the years and left unchecked will create an unstable society.

Every Singaporean will understand that with obligations of citizenship come rights of citizenship. Every Singaporean holding public office must understand that as there is recognition and reward for such office, there exists a duty to carry out your responsibilities, an obligation to serve the people and a calling for personal sacrifice owed to Singaporeans at large.

Singaporeans cannot be expected to contribute and sacrifice unilaterally, to bear the burden of citizenship and to have no slice of the rewards of a country well run. This is unfair and unreasonable – an administration continuing to ignore the rights of the people can only do more harm to itself than it thinks.

This is where the ruling party has brought us. Singaporeans will have to decide where they wish to go.

Objectives of the Socialist Front

  1. to further the fundamental rights and liberties of Singaporeans;
  2. to contest the Parliamentary Elections and establish a socialist government for the benefit of Singaporeans;
  3. to encourage ownership and active participation of Singaporeans in the affairs and politics of the country;
  4. to make Singapore a home for all Singaporeans based on the socialism model;
  5. to do all ancillary and related acts which espouse and promote the aforesaid objectives.

The Socialist Ideology

Socialism believes in setting economic and political policies for the good of the common people.

Socialism believes in the principle of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution”.

Socialism believes in providing equal opportunities to all citizens to allow them to maximize their fullest potential. Socialism will further and not restrict the freedom and dreams of the common people.

A socialist government will put the basic welfare of Singapore citizens first before everything else.

A socialist government will take control of key industries within Singapore’s economy by nationalizing and running such industries and essential services for the benefit of the Singaporean people. The key industries and essential services that will be nationalized will include: defence and security, food and agriculture, utilities, transportation, hospitalization and medical services, education, land use and housing.

A socialist government shall strive to raise the quality of life of the average Singaporean.

A socialist government will restrain the unbridled greed of capitalism and prevent monopolization of industries by any party, individual or corporation for profit and ensure sustainable growth of the country.

A socialist government will regulate the economy and the essential industries by legislation and allow true competition to surface to control prices and excessive profiteering.

A socialist government will cut all unnecessary expenditure and wastage and remove all inefficient and unnecessary tax structures and regimes that impede economic growth.

A socialist government will restore the security of government officials and the civil service in line with the ideals of public service.

A socialist government will uplift all levels of society by making basic essentials available to all at affordable prices thereby reducing fear, materialism and greed amongst all and liberate the people to pursue their dreams.

A socialist government will free the Singaporean people to build charitable, social, religious, communal, and political power structures that develop leadership at all levels and sectors and deepen and strengthen the Singaporean Society.

A socialist government will liberate and empower Singaporeans to institutionalize democracy so that Singapore remains forever sovereign and free.

This is our promise to the people of Singapore.

The symbol of the Socialist Front – The Single Five-pointed Red Star

The meaning of the Five-Pointed Star

Each of the five points on the star refers to the ideals of:

  1. democracy
  2. equality
  3. peace
  4. progress
  5. justice

 The meaning of the colour red

 The colour red symbolizes the socialist ideology or socialism.

The meaning of the Single Star

The single-minded objective of the party to achieve the above through national unity

The meaning of the White Background

Purity, transparency, accountability, integrity, honesty, the rule of law

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Politics | Leave a comment

The perpetual human dilemma of having dual roles, double standards and cluttered motives… :)

The reason for my long absence is that I have been fighting tooth and nail to keep up with the work that has been piling up on my table. As I write this I can’t help but be reminded about this  joke about the successful lawyer who owns expensive watches but has little time as compared to the simple man owns no watches but has lots of time.

Now why is it that I have neither expensive watches nor the time???? 🙂

On a separate front, I have also been fighting and losing repeated Battles of the Bulge. My heavy workload mandated I get my morale and energy fixes. Therefore I brought war against the chix, devoured them time and time again. Herbal Chix, Fried Chix, BBQ Chix. After each battle, interestingly, the waistline gets a little thicker and the pants tighter.

At this point, I can’t help being reminded of another joke where someone approaches a grave and finds engraved on the tombstone “Here lies a lawyer and a good man.” The joke goes on to have the man question how did they ever put two people into one grave. The connotation often understood is that a lawyer cannot be a good man.

This I would beg to differ, though I think the question is valid, the actual reasons are different.

My explanation – Most lawyers are fat or sooner or later will get fat. With one dead and fat lawyer inside a grave it is simply just impossible to fit in another man. 🙂

There is of course a whole other set of  jokes about the people who will never make it to heaven: The politicians and the lawyers. Now what happens when you are both a lawyer and a politician…. ???? Where does that leave me?

Even though I am a lawyer, a budding politician and a moderately fat man, I have for all intents and purposes, always tried to be a good man.  Though sometimes I fail…. intentionally…  I almost always mean no harm… the tongue-in-cheek twist though, I must admit, has almost always been intentional. 🙂

A childhood friend’s dad recently passed on. I was saddened by the passing as it brought the fact of human fraility and mortality home once again. However, life just has to go on. Much time has flown by and I am already 36. Has anyone kept track of how much time each of us might have left on this earth?

Like it or not, we have to face whatever is thrown at us. How much better would it be for us to strive to face adversities cheerfully and also enjoy the process. For in death, there is nothing more to feel, nothing more to worry, nothing more to face, and nothing more to fear.

How much better then would it be for us to bring happiness, laughter and cheer to all who are around you and maybe beyond and when doing so press home a point that needs to be pressed. To me at least, that would be, in the words of the MasterCard advertisement, – “priceless”.

With that in mind, I deliberated on my attempts to be a good man (by my own admittedly flawed standards) whether i should continually pass unkind remarks towards members of the ruling party a.k.a PAP.

I counted 4 opportunities recently: Yacoob Ibrahim – Environment Minister (flooding), Vivian BalaKrishnan – MCYS (YOG Budget Overrun), Khaw Boon Wan Health (Means-Testing) who just underwent heart bypass surgery and my favourite minister …. ahem… Zorro Lim …. or should i say Lim Swee Say (Minister w/o portfolio and in the Prime Minister’s Office).

[To digress abit into public education] Now the problem that lies herein is this:

When people volunteer for, seek election to and thereafter hold public office, they are no longer their own man. They owe a duty to the public at large when they carry out their duties. They ought to expect to be FRIED when they don’t carry out their duties AND when they do carry out their duties they should expect criticisms from the public. (It does not mean that if you choose to put on some zorro suit and give out roses, the public owes it to you to give you roses in return) They should instead expect to receive brickbats and take it in their stride. [Haven’t you heard that life is not a bed of roses? In any event, even roses have thorns :)]

People in public office should therefore expect to be treated more robustly and not expect to be handled with kid gloves, for you are after all supposedly the best that we have 🙂 … or should i say the best the world has ever had…. the brightest and the most promising… the most reliable and of course …ahem…. the most selfless [how come i hear giggles?].

So therefore each of you ought to take the heat that comes with public office which sometimes may include some references to heat, pressure, the action and process of producing heat –  which we call in chemistry as – combustion .

This is also why phrases like “the baptism of fire” are coined even though John the Baptist had actually baptised using water….

You should also never hide or cower behind rules or allow subordinates and ball-carriers to create the impression that you are cowering in fear. Such behaviour does not exactly gel with your claims that you enjoy the support of the populace and that you yourself sincerely believe that you are doing good for the country. 🙂

And so I reasoned to myself that Lim is after all trying very hard to gain some acceptance. [Now i rather you catch me dead before i would even put on a Zorro suit, cape and all and giving roses to ladies.] And that what he did was something which i cannot, will not and dare not do, I would hence hold my peace. If there is anything to be done, the Prime Minister himself ought to award his minister in his Prime Minister’s Office a medal – for courage. 🙂

Khaw is unfortunately not in good health. My code [rules of combat in the Taekwondo arena] does not allow me to strike a fallen opponent even though you may be in competition and you have him in range and in sight.

And so I held back on my comments on Khaw Boon Wan and my favourite minister Lim Swee Say. I managed to restrain myself. I relinquished the opportunity to taste that priceless feeling, that feeling on cloud nine, that top of the world sensation.

This was so despite the fact that I had to pay S$1,400 in fines recently for what was levied against me and another for being part of an assembly of probably 20 persons who had gathered to celebrate National Day 2008 in Toa Payoh Central.

I accepted my lot and came to terms with being S$1,400 poorer. To keep spare cash handy, I made a painful decision to sell my blood red VFR800fi interceptor.

At about the same time, news had it that So Nyuh Shi Dae (SNSD) was coming to Singapore for some K-Pop Night Concert with 5 other Korean bands. I had hoped that this money would now come in handy.

But guess what happened, even before i could do anything nearly 2000 fans had turned out to queue for the limited tickets the night before. [I repeat the night before] The size of the crowd scared the shit out of the authorities and the organisers that the ticket selling date had to be cancelled and queue numbers were issued to the people who turned up to disperse them. The crowd must have been amazing.

Kudos to all the SNSD fans for turning up in strength in full support. Kudos to SM Entertainment for training the girls so well in what they do. Kudos to the girls themselves for being as they are: TaeYeon, Jessica, Tiffany, SeoHyun, Sunny, SooYoung, Yuri, HyoYeon and last but not least Yoona. 🙂

They [SNSD] afterall gave my fellow Singaporeans a reason to assemble 🙂 and assemble they did 🙂

I have to shamefully admit that i wasn’t present at this assembly. 🙂

But no one should expect me to be there because I am, after all, the Secretary-General of the newly formed Socialist Front. I cannot be caught oogling at a bunch of girls who have just barely reached adulthood. Like they say, what’s done in private, people can’t see and don’t care, but what’s done in public is in full public view. Furthermore, the last thing I need now is to be summoned as Secretary-General of the Socialist Front before a Disciplinary Committee of the Socialist Front. 🙂

Besides, my presence could have endangered others 🙂 thank goodness, my fellow SNSD fans were untouched, none of them were prosecuted for being part of an assembly which obviously did not have a permit… or maybe i should say tactfully… that a permit was not required. [Even as i am typing this, I found myself nodding in agreement :)]

Therefore, it is clear that in this situation, even if i, Chia Ti Lik, had held the reins of government, i would also say “For SNSD…. if it is SNSD…. a permit is not required.” Even if that would amount to an admission that there were double standards in place 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Some friend pointed out that i crack corny jokes which are hopelessly out of place when I am stressed. That might be true. But if my intent is to entertain the readers of this blog with something humourous, lighthearted yet uplifting and with educational value – that would uplift my soul. The feeling would be [as described hereinabove] – priceless.

After a 3 month hiatus from blogging, I could have given in to my compulsions turned this entire post into an all out critique on the competency of the PAP but i did not. In fact, I consciously gave this post a softer touch.

Now trust me, i have been holding back…. on our dismal showing on the YOG, on the quality of food in the YOG, on the YOG budget overrun, the means-testing retribution, on the repeated floodings in Downtown Singapore, Zorro Suit etc.

But let me forewarn all, should anything untoward happen (traffic jam, poor crowd control, flooding, blackout of whatever) that would derail the K-Pop Night Concert for fellow SNSD fans, and if i am able to point a finger at any member of the cabinet that can be held responsible, then i would not hold back my brickbats anymore. 🙂

So here i am, interceptor-less, tired, hungry, bogged down by personal actions, hands full with obligations owed to clients, not having the time, energy or gall to support my favourite girl band in person but I am playing part-time comedian to others on my blog.

It did occur to me – Whether any of all this brings me closer to heaven or further away from hell or what? 🙂

I was rewarded very quickly. Last night i had a dream. 🙂

I dreamt that I was surrounded and fawned upon by 9 girls. The girls were so pretty, they even looked like SNSD. 🙂 🙂 🙂

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Life, Politics, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation | Leave a comment

Jack Neo’s latest tribute to the PAP should be a comedy – How to train your minister :)

In the recent saga of primary school chinese examination weightage, it is amusing to note the about turn by the administration on one of its gaffes on its chinese language policy.

The Education Ministry has traditionally been one of the most problematic ministries within this Government. Over the years, not only has the inadequacies of our education system have been shown up by our children’s lack of gall, creativity and competitiveness, the sheer fact that on one hand we are touted that our local universities are world class and on the other hand our ruling elite send its young to foreign universities and our administrative service sends our scholars similarly to foreign universities is damning evidence of the fact that in the aspect of education, we are definitely and continually being shortchanged.

Singaporeans being shortchanged aside, the recent controversial remarks by the Bargain Hen, if not for the uproar from the Chinese community, might have turned into a possible change in Chinese Language education policy, if they went unchallenged.

I call Ng Eng Hen the Bargain Hen because way back just after the 2001 elections,  I, witnessed with aghast, a Channel News Asia news report footage of the then Ng Eng Hen facing off and answering questions from supposed grassroot leaders and members of the audience in a talk. During the talk, questions had been raised about the fact that the ministers’ salaries in tiny Singapore being the highest in the entire known world.

I say known world because, whilst unlikely, there is still a possiblity that an alien race, unknown to us, might have similar policies that pays its ministers just as much or even more – even though they might be as arrogant and incompetent as they are. 🙂

The Bargain Hen’s reply from the panel was with gusto and arrogance and,  as far and as accurately as i can recall, goes as follows:-

“Let me tell you, [index finger pointing] what you are paying for the quality of your ministers is a bargain because, i need only work half as hard and i can make five times as much outside [with hand gestures].”

Someone with love for this country needs to access the Channel News Asia archives to pull out that famous footage to verify the exact words for the Bargain Hen’s sake and also my humble self, put it up on YouTube so that Singaporeans can appreciate why i would dearly call Ng Eng Hen – the Bargain Hen.

In this episode, our Prime Minister was forced to come out to face the Chinese press and community to backtrack on what the Bargain Hen had said. In doing so, our Prime Minister displayed more smoothness and tact. He reaffirmed his cabinet’s committment to the Chinese Language as much as he would want you to believe and also identified a few more ways to change how the Chinese Language should be taught.

Note the cabinet’s position change from “change in examination weightage” to “change in teaching methodology”. Yet another change. 🙂

Honestly, I do wonder whether the cabinet’s need for constant change is a philosophical need on their part? [which i do not see being manifest in their political beliefs and system] or is it just plain and simple – The Cabinet is experimenting with our children’s education and correspondingly our children’s future?

In short, the fact that streaming policies change every other year;

The fact that there was already a recent change in the Chinese Language Pedacogy in 2005;

The fact that highly paid Bargain Hen’s suggested change is now shown to be ill-thought;

is proof that PAP ministers often act by shooting in the dark and not really knowing what to do with our country. 🙂

Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with PM Lee Hsien Loong about the need for the institution of 6 levels of proficiency, my view that the 6 levels of proficiency should be instituted not so much for the teaching of Chinese Language but for ensuring competent political leadership – To sieve out those who can make it and those who cannot.

These are my suggested Levels of Proficiency for ministers

Elementary Level

1. To be able to be calm and collected enough not to burst out crying on nomination day / polling day.
2. To possess the humility of public service – please admit that your salary is amongst the world’s highest and in the same breath don’t go around claiming that what the country is paying for you is a bargain.
3. To be smart enough to play smokescreen and divert attention by changing the topic of discussion.

Intermediate Level

4. Be humble enough to see your own errors and admit the same – in this case your own arrogance and greed.
5. Be able to talk sense in parliament and do good for the country when it comes to national policies.
6. To be able and willing to further democracy for the good of a nation despite the obvious threat to your own well being.

[An example of how the lack of practice of democratic principles affects this nation – Ng Eng Hen is in Bishan ToaPayoh GRC – This GRC has been uncontested since GE2001, the Bargain Hen together with his team leader our esteemed Wong Kan Seng strolled into Parliament on two occasions 2001 and 2006. Wong Kan Seng’s performance is sad to say nothing better than dismal :). I need not say more]

In this day and age of untold hardship and uncertainty faced by the born and bred Singaporean with the backdrop of uncertain national well-being given the manner in which our National Reserves are being managed, some respite needs to be given to our people to loosen them up abit.

I think the latest movie Jack Neo should come up with in his next release would be the movie… How to train your minister. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Politics | 1 Comment

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