Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Watz Buzzing - 25 Apr 2012

PM Lee: Social media makes it ‘difficult’ for politics and government to work well

One week after setting up his personal Facebook page to reach out to the online community, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is appearing to have second thoughts after his page was turned into a ‘slugfest’ between Singaporeans and foreigners of late.

In his latest post on Facebook, PM Lee shared an article published in CNN a few days ago on the ‘dangers’ of Facebook and Twitter politics:

“Social media bring many benefits. But this thoughtful piece points out that they will also make it harder for politics and government to work well. The writer talks about the US, but many of his points apply to Singapore too.”

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10 reasons why PM should not be on FB

1. Why is he can play FB when I am paying him a fricking high salary??
2. I am not a wee interested in what he had for dinner or if he cuddled his wife in front of the telly.
3. He finally reveals that “mee siam mai hum” is a house special at the Istanan.
4. If he ain’t sharing anything substantial on FB, he is there to “kop” our ideas!
5. PM is not really on FB, he has a bunch of overpaid servants to do that for him.
6. He could lower the wages of these servants if hiring of foreigners was allowed!
7. It would be less fun if PM would stop saying sorry in person and start doing it on FB.
8. It could be embarrassing if he could never gather more ‘likes’ than Nicole Seah.
9. It pains me to see that Singaporeans think that they are making a connection to their PM just because they ‘liked’ and commented on his page.
And the top reason why PM shouldn’t be on FB…
10. His photos are invariably ruined by bodyguards trying to look mean when they actually look damn cock!!

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Making mountain out of mole hill

PM on Facebook: 29,200 'likes'... and counting Apr 22, 2012

A day after its launch that saw thousands of netizens clicking on the thumbs-up icon in support, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's Facebook page continued to draw 'likes' on Saturday.

By midnight, the number of 'likes' had crossed 29,200, doubling what he had on Day 1.

His Twitter account, set up at the same time, had more than 7,100 followers.

PM Lee also showed a determination to stay active online: Late last night, he posted messages on Facebook and Twitter, describing what he had done in the evening. 'Just returned from AMK (Ang Mo Kio). Was at a Welcome Party at Teck Ghee Vista, and an MUP (Main Upgrading Programme) Completion at Teck Ghee Grandeur,' he wrote on Facebook. He then went on to talk a bit more about what happened.

I can't believe the main stream media persistence on this piece of news.

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An Open Letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore

Dear Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,

In November of 2011, the Human Rights Foundation invited Dr. Chee Soon Juan -- one of your well-known critics and one of Singapore's most visible opposition leaders -- to speak at the 2012 Oslo Freedom Forum, taking place May 7, 8, and 9 in Norway. The forum is an annual gathering for promoting democracy, human rights, and justice.

Yesterday, we learned that Dr. Chee's application to leave Singapore to participate at the Oslo Freedom Forum was "not approved." I enclose a copy of an April 10 missive from Lydia Loh of the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office -- an agency of your government -- denying Dr. Chee permission to exit Singapore and travel to Oslo.

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Nicole Seah on politics and civil society's Elaine Ee, left; and Nicole Seah, right's Elaine Ee, left; and Nicole Seah, right

In Part 2 of Elaine Ee's interview with Ms Nicole Seah of the National Solidarity Party, we focus on politics and civil society, and on online discourse.
Here are some excerpts of what Ms Seah said. Please view the video below. [Watch Part 1 here.]

On the PAP:
“I would say that people such as Mdm Halimah, Dr Lily Neo, BG Tan Chuan Jin, these are the people who really give us hope and faith that the PAP has the leaders that it needs to carry us into the next generation.”

On civil discourse:
“I [think] the electorate is still very young, and to a certain extent, still rather undeveloped. So, it has probably come to a point where Singaporeans are just beginning to grapple with their opinions, their beliefs, they’re starting to shape it. They’re starting to realise that it is not as simple as black or white, or PAP/anti-PAP, opposition/anti-opposition. It’s really a lot more nuanced than that.”
“We haven’t really reached that stage where we can take ourselves lightly, and just learn to have a bit of laugh, to laugh at ourselves a bit more.”

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Yale College faculty resolution disappointing, says Tommy Koh.

He gives his four reasons.

Tommy Koh made floppy hair mainstream before Chen Show Mao did.

Two weeks ago, the faculty at Yale College in New Haven sat around for a few hours, put together three paragraphs and sent it out letting everybody within earshot know that they are very, very displeased about Yale-NUS coming to pass.

This very important decision-making process is known as passing a resolution, very similar to tribal meetings on Survivor, but with more haggling.

Now, Tommy Koh, a Singapore diplomat who made floppy hair mainstream before Chen Show Mao did, claims the resolution completely ignores the potential benefits of the joint venture.

Here are his four reasons.

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Is this my Singapore? My home and my country?


Last week from Mon to Fri, I took my meal break at Joo Koon MRT Station with my colleague Train Officer ‘Anak Abu’. We were supposed to travel back to Jurong Crew Station for our one hour meal break after ‘stepping out’ from our trains at Joo Koon station. We would have to travel back to Joo Koon from Jurong station to intercept our trains after taking our meal break.
To save time, we brought along our food and took our meal at Joo Koon station staff rest room. We had one and half hour to enjoy our meal relaxing there.

Train Officer ‘Anak Abu’ brought his home cooked food whereas I bought mine from the coffee shop when I reported for work. There is no coffee shop at Joo Koon station. It’s like a deserted ghost town there.

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No let up in push for 6m population

Another big convincing article in the ST, and in other news media, telling how precarious the country will be if there is no intake of immigrants. The need for population growth or replacement is a critical issue and without growth or at least replacement it is like we are going to perish. This one track mind on population growth and economic growth will not change and will be the basis for all other policies of the country.

Why must there be population growth to survive? The fact is that if every country goes on this path, the world will come to an end faster. This world, and this island, needs lesser population growth. Lesser population and less growth in economic numbers do not directly lead to lower quality of life. We were 1m and 2m before. We survived very well.

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Plastic Men And Their Silly Ideas

After HSA finally comes to senses with their silly charges for registering "medical devices", another body is set to push cost of living higher - which just crossed the 5% barrier. The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) is determined to nudge supermarkets, and some say even hawker centers, into charging for plastic bags.

Environment consultant Eugene Tay was spot on when he said these cost adders will not go down well with the low- and middle- income group. He probably had in mind the below $1,500 per month category which Prof Lim wanted desperately to help, not the above $15,000 per month types who send their maids out for the grocery run.
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Conservative Asian Dad Ordering KFC

Asian Dad Ordering KFC", Papa Dum gets into a tongue-twist trying to order thighs, legs and... breasts from KFC. Created & uploaded on 18/04 by Ministry of Funny, the funny clip has surprisingly only been viewed 994 times? C'mon...Support Ministry of Funny, check--oh, and 'like'--their FB page too.
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Boycott F&B outlets that hire more than 80% foreigners?

Gilbert Goh - former NSP member who contested in Tampines GRC GE11 and founder of, is organising a boycott of all local F&B outlets that hire more than 80% of foreigners.

I am just a layman, no expert in the field of employment or economics, but what a no-brainer call that is.

1) The Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) for foreigner workers in the service sector is currently 50% (DRC for service sector will be reduced to 45% w.e.f July 1 2012)
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SINCE Professor Lim Chong Yah said that my speech and article on an interrupted wage revolution inspired his own ‘Shock Therapy’ proposals for radical wage hikes, many people have asked for my reactions. Here they are:

Prof Lim has made a convincing argument that income inequality in Singapore is serious and growing. However, I am not sure that this is the crux of the problem I have tried to identify. Income inequality is undoubtedly a growing global problem which has affected Singapore perhaps more, perhaps less, than other developed nations. Policymakers around the world must devise effective solutions and Singapore is no exception.

However, I am particularly concerned about a peculiarly Singapore problem: We have a two-tiered economy which is not sustainable. We have, on the one hand, a high-productivity and skills-competitive export economy (which includes not just manufacturing but also financial and other services) and, on the other, a low-efficiency, unsustainable domestic economy, which I define as all the businesses which essentially serve customers located in Singapore.

By and large, these are small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in retail, construction, hospitality, cleaning, nursing, and the like.

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