Monday, 17 September 2012

Watz Buzzing - 17 Sep 2012

Philippine media to Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry: Do Not Insult Us!

Yahoo! News Philippines, 14 Sep 2012
Philippine media have their ample share of problems, one of them irresponsible reporting, but on the report on alleged support of Singapore for the Philippine position in the West Philippine Sea, they correctly reported what was officially conveyed to them.

The statement released by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs last Sept. 10 insulted Philippine media.

The statement: "MFA has received media queries referring to articles in the Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin published on 9 September 2012, reporting that Singapore supported the Philippines' position in the South China Sea dispute during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of the 20thAPEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok on 8 September 2012.

When asked whether this represents a change in Singapore's policy on the South China Sea, the MFA Spokesman said: "We have seen the reports in question.

You all know how free the Filipino media is; they can even be very free with the facts."

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A convenient scapegoat

Dated Sept. 8, the dateline was Vladivostok, where the  leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation  were meeting. The story was based on the briefing of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on the meeting of  President Aquino and Singapore Prime Minister Lee.

The  lead  was "Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday expressed support to the Philippines' efforts for a peaceful resolution of the dispute in the West Philippine Sea (SouthChina Sea).

The  quote supporting the head, was the fifth paragraph which said: "He (del Rosario) said Aquino thanked Lee 'for the very strong support that Singapore has given the Philippines in terms of its position in the West Philippine Sea.'"

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YPAP activist spotted in the audience; netizens question whether was the televised "National Conversation" forum staged

"Just now I saw tv and noticed this dude appear in the forum sitting at the audience's seat."


Look at the YPAP homepage ~ even has his face ~ YoungPAP » front page

HE IS A NGEE ANN POLY LECTURE presently , that time during Bi election at Hougang , he was there supporting PAP"

Full story

CNA disinvites political bloggers from PM Lee's televised forum -

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Time for Opposition to rethink assumptions, lest it repents after next GE

Shumetime back, I blogged that PM in his National Day Rally speech came out with the message,”It’s yr money, let’s spend it to make you happier”. I’m glad to read that TJS has written, “PM talked about increased social spending supported by tax increases not now but in 20 years’ time, DPM Tharman laid out a case for active government policies “tilted in favour of those with less”". Well nice to know I and TJS have come to the same conclusion, more-or-less.

Which brings me to TJS’ main point, “Events in recent years have shown that the PAP is both incompetent and insincere. To save Singapore from the PAP, we have to focus on regime change … We do not need a national conversation to generate ideas on how to bring Singapore forward …

‘But the current leadership is not equal to the task – what can one expect from a PM who has no vision for the country or an ill-conceived one based on wrong facts, and a DPM who is full of hindsight but empty of foresight? The real salvation for Singapore lies outside the PAP and there are enough talent out there to form an alternative leadership team. It’s time for them to come together, get organised and stand ready to take over. A regime change is long overdue.”

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The Con In Conversation

Herbert Paul Grice (1913 - 1988) is best known for his work in the philosophy of language, in particular, his analysis of speaker's meaning, his conception of conversational implicature, and his project of intention-based semantics. In "Logic and Conversation" (1975) Grice offered a theory about what a person's words literally mean and what a person means by his or her words over and above what his or her words literally mean.

Paul Grice proposed the following conversational maxims in "Logic and Conversation": 

The maxim of quality, where one tries to be truthful, and does not give information that is false or that is not supported by evidence. According to the first rule – people are expected to say what they know to be true. When talking with each other – we expect people to tell us the truth. Lui Tuck Yew telling us that public transportation is subsidised is stretching it a bit. How can SMRT be subsidised when the CEO is paid more than Barack Obama, the U.S. President who can rightfully boast: Osama is dead, GM is alive? 

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300 appllied for $3K dishwasher post - shows that Singaporeans are willing to take up such jobs if wages are reasonably attractive

Yahoo! News Singapore, 13 Sep 2012
Restaurant chain Sakae Sushi says it has received about 300 enquiries into and applications for its open dishwasher position, which will carry a $3,000 monthly salary.

Public attention was drawn to the position’s lucrative-sounding pay when the company’s chief executive officer, Douglas Foo, mentioned in passing during a UFM 100.3 radio interview on Friday that he was offering to pay $3,000 a month for dishwashers in his restaurants.

Company branding and communications manager Gregg Lewis told Yahoo! Singapore on Thursday that they decided to hire dishwashers directly instead of through a contractor, through which their existing 30 dishwashers had been hired.
He also confirmed that the $3,000 figure refers to the salary before CPF deductions, but he declined to discuss what benefits would be provided, if any.

Clarifying previous reports that mentioned varying details of the job specifications and working hours, Lewis said dishwashers at Sakae will work six-day work weeks, from 10:30am to 10:30pm, a time that he says includes breaks and meal times — although the length and number of these breaks were not specified. Full story

It’s real, Sakae Sushi is hiring dishwashers at $3,000 a month -

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The National Conversation so far

It was touted as the conversation for all Singaporeans to have a say in what kind of future they want for Singapore and their children. This is as national as it could get. Somehow the other part of Singapore is not being represented, the political oppositions that don’t agree with the govt’s point of view.

The fact that none of them seems to be included or invited to join the conversation is beginning to tell. You cannot have a National Conversation by excluding 40 per cent or more of the population to call it a National Conversation.
And as some bloggers have pointed out, it has drifted towards a conversation of the converts, of the ‘safe’ people who share the same belief and ideology of the govt, of what the govt thinks is good for the whole population. 

Talking about conversation diverts attention from bombshell!

I have highlighted articles from blog spot Article 14 previously on Rethinking the Rice Bowl.  ”Subra” states on his blog to be a Singaporean  lecturer in law here and he clearly has the talented teacher’s skill of setting out complex subject matter in a simple, easy to understand manner.  Several very good reasons why everyone should read his latest article:    But he has added a twist that I didn’t notice.

Previously he had blogged about my IMF loan case. Actually I disagreed with what he posited in that blog  but I still posted the blog around, as it is good to widen the debate.  That is, if in our State of National enforced silence, we can have a debate at all. Subra’s insight as a lawyer and a lecturer in law allows him to explain to us that Alice in Wonderland arguments can pass as legal logic even if they defy common sense.

Whilst I agree that the argument put forward by the AG in parliament could clearly  have come out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland,  I don’t see how it has passed as legal logic until it is tested in a court of law. The AG after all works for the PAP, whereas the courts are intended to be independent

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Singapore’s national conversation 

The authoritative former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had little use for public opinion when he was in power, preferring to set his own agenda.

Now a year after he quit active politics, his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has indicated that he wants to move away from his non-consultative phase, at least for the moment.

In 2002, PM Goh Chok Tong conducted a comprehensive study to restructure Singapore with public participation – apparently to the dislike of Singapore’s founding leader.

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Dr Chee Soon Juan close to having bankruptcy status lifted, 12 Sep 2012
Opposition party leader Chee Soon Juan said that former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong have accepted his offer of S$30,000 to annul his bankruptcy.

Dr Chee, who is Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), was declared a bankrupt in 2006 after he failed to pay damages of S$500,000 to Mr Lee and Mr Goh, Today newspaper reported.

The two former Prime Ministers of Singapore had filed a defamation suit against him when, during the 2001 General Election, he questioned the government’s 1998 loan of S$17 billion to Indonesia as a rescue package during the Asian Financial Crisis. The government did not lend the money to Indonesia and Dr Chee was sued. Full story

Fund raising to discharge CSJ hots up - Singapore Democrats

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Everybody's talking about talking

The hottest topic of the season on the local blogosphere is the 'National Conversation'.   Everyboy's talking about why we need to have the Nat-Con, what is the government's agenda, how we can contribute to it, etc, etc.  If it was intended to be the National Distraction, I think it is succeeding.  Nat-con is the political equivalent of a viral YouTube video.  (I am having images in my mind of PM doing a dance a la Gangnam Style.)

I also suspect that just like a viral video, in this fast-paced, low-memory-capacity age, this Nat-Con phase will die out soon enough.

In the meantime, what are we missing out? 

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