Thursday, 26 September 2013

‘Ask the PM’ TV forum

Update 27 Sep 2013: How many foreigners here to eat your lunch?


PM Lee follows up live forum on Facebook


related:
"Building trust comes from working together" says PM Lee on Singapore's social compact
Collective responsibility among citizens key to successful social policies: PM Lee
PM Lee hopes to have successor team in place before turning 70

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PM LEE 8 YRS AGO: PAP MAKES LIFE BETTER FOR ALL SINGAPOREANS

At the PAP rally on 8 Dec last Sunday, LHL was in a desperate and panicky state. He talks about the opposition “checking” on them. He mentioned the word ‘checkmate’, clearly indicating that he is clueless about the notion of modern democracy. So, how is he going to appease the citizens?

Well, if you read his speech carefully, you could really feel the desperation. Phrases like ‘If the PAP fails, Singapore is in deep trouble. We shall not fail’, ‘We don’t make empty promises’ and so on, certainly reflect his desperation.

Worse, for the first time, the PAP openly mentions about the possibility that it may not be able to form the govt (see TRE article – ‘First time PAP admits may not be able to form govt‘). Why? just to scare us to continue to vote for him and his party?

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"Building trust comes from working together", says PM Lee on Singapore's social compact

Questions on governance, forging a new social compact and the future of Singapore were posed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a live TV programme, Ask the PM, on Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday evening.

Singaporeans had sent in a slew of questions to Prime Minister Lee, through various social media platforms and video booths set up by MediaCorp.

A popular topic was the issue of governance and how Mr Lee felt his team had addressed the concerns raised by Singaporeans since the last General Election in 2011.

related:
Part 1: Changing Face of Governance
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong takes on questions posed by Singaporeans, the first set was on the changing face of governance. 

Part 2: Social Compact
In the second segment of the live discussion with Prime Minister Lee, moderated by Channel NewsAsia's presenter Sharon Tong and MediaCorp Editor-in-Chief, Walter Fernandez, the questions focused on forging a new social compact for Singapore.

Part 3: Future
In the final segment of the live discussion Ask the Prime Minister, the questions from the public focused on the future and Singapore's next leadership.

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Significant progress on hot-button issues: PM


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday said the Government has made “significant progress” in addressing hot-button issues following the 2011 General Election, but called on Singaporeans to play a role in shaping the country they would like to see.

He felt that while the sense of identity, for instance, has strengthened among Singaporeans, the willingness to sacrifice individual concerns for broader national goals “is probably less” when compared to the previous generation.

“So when an issue comes up, there is less willingness to say: ‘Well, this one I lose, but what to do, it is for the national good’. There is much more desire to say ‘How can this one hurt me, how can you take care of me if you want to do this,” said Mr Lee. “It is a different generation; I think attitudes have changed over the years.”

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PM Lee on Work-Life Balance


From the ST two days ago but I was too busy to blog about it then. A few are fortunate to have work-life balance. Many either have to live with a lot of Work or a lot of time for Life, but not sure if they have the life they want.

More of us could have had good work-life balance if government policies were more farsighted and courageous as far back as GCT became PM. Now it is pointless to talk about what-ifs. We have to make the best of what we have.

If you cannot achieve a happy work-life balance for yourself, give your children the means to do so. In a similar vein our parents lifted us from poverty. It is now our job to help them go the next lap.

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Forum Theater: An Farcical Parody
clone

Not only was the “Ask the Prime Minister” TV forum on 24 September a rehash of tired issues addressed with stock replies recycled with renewed idiocy (which apparently is a term that can be used on the Almighty Leaders of Singapore without the backlash of defamation suits), it also exposes the hollowness of the PAP’s Grand Rebranding Movement and its lack of even a pinch of commitment or sincerity to make required fundamental changes both the party and the society it lords over.

Other than the valorization of the LKYian leadership style (an element that has landed the PAP in its plight of increasing political irrelevance) in Hsien Loong’s belief that another Kuan Yew would be ideal for Singapore, the déjà vu-inducing replies made the 2013 TV program seem as if it were rerun of a 2003 program except that the same ideas are articulated in a patently post-2011 style of simulated engagement, with a semblance of the willingness to listen and pay some superficial attention to the severe problems that have been brought about by overpopulation and too much economic growth bringing too few benefits to the general population. Obsolescence is the new relevance

But the veneer wrapping the same old disrespect for Singapores can hardly conceal the true nature of the PAP’s policies as it becomes increasingly translucent and heads towards unintended self-ridicule. All it can depend on is the blindness and naivety of the electorate (and there is no doubt this is all 2016 prep), which is itself an insulting even if not altogether risky bet.

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The Emperor's New Clothes

There is a "live" forum program that lives up to its name, and it's called "Talking Point." The pathetic facsimile organized by Channel NewsAsia (CNA) last night turned out to be a cosy fireside chat with moderators Sharon Tong and Walter Fernandez.

Lobbing softballs at the Prime Minister, both were obviously trying very hard to protect him from the "tough" queries emanating from the public.  What was shown on the television screen were saccharine sweet tweets from obsequious sycophants, the grassroots type worshippers who would have sent mangoes to Michael Palmer.

The CNA website did have some real hard questions meant for Lee, but they took them down quickly - probably for fear of losing their jobs. Three such samples that survived the deletion:


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The Antics of a Comical Prime Minister

There had been so much hype on the "Ask the PM" TV forum that Singaporeans could be excused if they expected some really epoch-making pronouncements to be made by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the forum. But what came out of this comic opera was a regurgitation of so-called political and social issues purportedly for the amelioration of the plebeian which had been diffused ad nauseam from time to time. It could hardly be objective when the interview is managed by a Straits Times staff and an editor.

If PM Lee expected his so-called political expertise and eloquence at the forum to mesmerise the electorate, he could be in for a not so mild disappointment. The reaction from discerning Singaporeans could at best be said to be lukewarm but PM Lee being made of more sterner stuff may find this episode a kind of challenge. Although he has claimed to be immune to cyberspace criticism, he will find it edifying to visit the website TR Emeritus to read a vitriolic article by a very penetrating writer Molly Meek who very expertly demolished the presentation by PM Lee at the forum until what remained was a fig-leaf to conceal the disconfiture.

From his disclosure at the forum, PM Lee is thinking of a career as prime minister up to or very near to seventy. He is now sixty-one. Although he assured Singaporeans that he had a fourth generation team in waiting he had qualified that by saying the team lacked experience which is a way of saying that he could go on holding the prime minister's post ad infinitum. So we have to get used to being ruled by a group of prime minister and ministers who are more concerned with their astronomical (some say obscene) salaries of millions of dollars from taxpayers' money than with serving the people.

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Who is stealing Singaporeans’ lunch?

From a well-run government to tales well spun! Is this the kind of transformation we are seeing in Singapore? Even as foreigners are stealing varsity seats and jobs from Singaporeans, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong  yesterday talked of how “there are countries like China, Vietnam and India which are hungry and anxious to steal the lunch from us.” Whether Singaporeans are ready to work 24×7 or not, nothing can prevent businesses to make inroads into those countries as they will always look for avenues to prop up their coffers.

If the government is so sure about how those countries are out to scuttle Singapore’s growth why is it so desperate to bring in people from there in troves in the guise of foreign talent? Isn’t the government letting not just lunch but breakfast and dinner as well to be stolen from Singaporeans?

The context in which he cautioned Singaporeans to be wary of their lunch being stolen makes me wonder if the government is taking the country downhill in terms of the quality of life. The overpopulation and overcrowding everywhere is already taking its toll on life here!

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18 questions S’poreans are not too shy to ask PM Lee Hsien Loong

Singaporeans can be a funny bunch. Here are some of the questions that failed to make it on to the Ask the PM programme

Given the right circumstances (like hiding behind the computer away from face-to-face interaction), Singaporeans can be a pretty funny bunch.

On a special live TV programme, Ask the PM, on Channel NewsAsia (CNA) earlier this evening, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong responded to a stream of questions posed to him via Twitter by everyday folk.

As always, CNA filtered the questions and raised the pertinent (i.e. boring) ones on air and in the process, skipping over the many witty and thought-provoking queries that never saw the light of day.

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LHL: "Ideally, we have another LKY"


I found this later: "Ideally, we have another Lee Kuan Yew".

I have been pushing the point that the very good is not good enough for us. We need to be great and bearing in mind that the good is the enemy of the great. I am glad the PM feels the same.

Of course the times are different and we will not get another LKY. In the same way Abraham Lincoln isn't George Washington but we need a transformational leader.

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Singaporeans should be more aware of the world around them: PM Lee
PM Lee urges Singaporeans to be more aware of the the world around them. (AFP file photo)
PM Lee urges Singaporeans to be more aware of the the world around them. (AFP file photo)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged Singaporeans to be more aware of the world around them.

He was responding to a question from the public on whether there is an attitude of Singaporeans that he would want to change on “Ask The Prime Minister”, a ‘live’ TV forum on Channel NewsAsia, on Tuesday evening.

PM Lee said Singaporeans are often “very preoccupied with our own problems”

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Significant progress on hot button issues

In yesterday’s programme on Asking the PM, Hsien Loong was to a certain extent congratulating the govt for making significant progress on hot button issues like housing, public transport and foreigners/employment. I could not hold my eyeballs steady as they kept rolling while he was saying these things.

Should the people be jubilant, praise the govt for reacting to these painful issues that have hurt the people real bad for so long? How in the world could a proactive govt with its fingers on the pulse of the people allowed these problems to escalate to a point of losing control is amazing. And who the hell created all these problems in the first place?

My eyeballs rolled faster when he talked about the sense of identity, strengthening the Singaporean core, about individual citizens sacrificing for the national goals and blaming this generation for being different and less sacrificing than the early generations.

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Nothing like competition to make the PAP listen better


The Ministry of Manpower today announced the Fair Consideration Framework which will require employers to consider Singaporeans fairly for job vacancies before hiring foreigners (link: http://bit.ly/1bAri7N). The Government has said that this is in response to the feedback it got from Our Singapore Conversation. 

This suggestion for a better framework to protect the Singaporean worker however is not a new one. In 2009, about 2 years before the last General Election, I feedback to Mr George Yeo, then-Foreign Minister, that it is one thing to accept foreigners, but quite another to accept foreigners at the expense of Singaporeans.

I said that the quota policy implemented by the Ministry of Manpower then, which enables an employer to hire 25% foreign workers of their total workforce may unfairly disadvantage the Singaporean worker; and asked that a framework where an employer has to satisfy the Government that it is unable to hire a local person, before the employer is allowed to hire a foreigner be considered.

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OPINION: The charade behind Channel News Asia's "Ask The PM" live forum programme

There is a "live" forum program that lives up to its name, and it's called "Talking Point." The pathetic facsimile organized by Channel NewsAsia (CNA) last night turned out to be a cosy fireside chat with moderators Sharon Tong and Walter Fernandez.

Lobbing softballs at the Prime Minister, both were obviously trying very hard to protect him from the "tough" queries emanating from the public. What was shown on the television screen were saccharine sweet tweets from obsequious sycophants, the grassroots type worshippers who would have sent mangoes to Michael Palmer.

The CNA website did have some real hard questions meant for Lee, but they took them down quickly - probably for fear of losing their jobs. Full story

Also read:
Forum Theater: An Farcical Parody - TR Emeritus

read more

Singapore Daily


– Yahoo!: Singaporeans should be more aware of the world around them: PM Lee
– The Independent, Singapore: Ask the Prime Minister, Mind the tweets
– Blogging for Myself: LHL: “Ideally, we have another LKY”
– Singapore Notes: The Emperor’s New Clothes
– My Singapore News: Significant progress on hot button issues
– Mothership: 18 questions S’poreans are not too shy to ask PM Lee Hsien Loong


read more

related:
PM Lee In The Limelight
‘Ask the PM’ TV forum
Schools Should Instil Spirit Of Service: PM Lee
Important to balance govt's key goals for S'pore: PM Lee
PM Fist Bumping at a Dialogue Session
Tweaks or Tricks - PM's NDR 2013
Trust will determine success of policy shifts: PM Lee
Singapore remains a sampan, but an upgraded 2.0 version: PM Lee
PM: Facing new media's challenges
Lee & Lee - The job has changed
PM's National Day Rally Speech
PM: We will track you down even if you think you're anonymous
Websites of Singapore President & PM hacked